Octopus Energy, a privately owned British renewable energy company, recently raised an additional $800 million in funding, bringing its valuation up to $7.8 billion.
It is now the largest electric retailer in the United Kingdom (according to Canary Media and recent regulation data), and the company plans to keep expanding, continuing to push the transition away from dirty, polluting energy sources like oil and gas.
Per Canary Media, the investments have come from a variety of sources, including Australian utility company Origin Energy, Tokyo Gas, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Generation Investment Management (Al Gore’s investing firm).
Octopus Energy was founded recently, in 2016, and has grown incredibly quickly in less than a decade — evidence that much of the world is more than ready to embrace clean, renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Much like the animal that it is named after, the company has many arms that it has extended into the renewable energy space.
In addition to its energy supply services, these arms include heat pumps (it is the leading heat pump installer in the U.K. and has more than 50,000 customers on its waitlist, per Canary Media), renewable power plants, a wind and solar farm in Sierra Leone developed with help from actor Idris Elba, smart electric car chargers, home appliances, and more. The company is operating in countries across the globe.
Octopus entered the United States market in 2020 after acquiring Houston- and Silicon Valley-based startup Evolve Energy for $5 million, as the Wall Street Journal reported.
The company’s hallmark is combining smart technology with renewable energy sources to most efficiently serve its customers. Founder and CEO Greg Jackson explained the mission to the Wall Street Journal, saying, “It’s not that we’re taking an existing [electricity] system and energizing it from a different source. We’re building a new system.”
He expanded on that statement in an interview with Canary Media, saying, “What we’re really trying to build is a world where we have the right amount of generation at any moment in time, for all of our customers, from green sources. Then we flex the demand from our customers — we help our customers use it at the time that’s greenest.”
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