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Two unicorns and an even bigger Octopus

26 Mar 2021

Written by Simon Rogerson

Ten years ago one of our employees (Matt Setchell) came to me to pitch the idea of setting up a renewable energy investment business. I wasn’t convinced so I said no. Thankfully, Matt has a surprisingly stubborn streak so he returned a few weeks later to tell me why I was wrong. It’s just as well.  

Matt has spent the last ten years building Octopus Renewables into one of the leading renewable energy investment businesses in Europe. Our team of 80 people now manages more than £3.4 billion across 250 large scale assets and nearly 3,500 solar rooftops in seven countries, generating enough renewable energy to power more than 1.2 million homes.

One of the unexpected benefits of building our renewable energy investment business is that it opened our eyes to some of the inefficiencies and customer failings within the broader energy market. Which is why, in 2015, we backed Greg Jackson and his team to build a next generation, tech-led energy supply company – Octopus Energy. The growth of this business since 2015 has been meteoric. It’s already achieved double unicorn status and has grown to two million customers in the UK, adding more than 100,000 customers per month.

Over the last twelve months the similarity in missions between these two businesses has become increasingly obvious. At their core, both businesses are looking to accelerate the green revolution, and to do so at massive scale. For Octopus Renewables that’s about building, managing and operating tens of billions of pounds of renewable energy assets. For Octopus Energy it’s about using technology to make the green revolution faster and cheaper for tens of millions of customers, not just in the UK but around the world.

Building the world’s leading renewable energy business

Our conclusion, which I’m delighted to announce today, is that Octopus Renewables and Octopus Energy will be joining forces.

Our mission at Octopus has always been to invest in the people, ideas and industries that change the world. These two businesses coming together is a perfect example of this mission at work. By combining our talent across Octopus Renewables and Octopus Energy I’m confident that we can build a company which redefines the global energy industry over the coming decades.

For the investors in our renewable energy funds, the combination of Octopus Energy’s technology and supply expertise and Octopus Renewables’ energy assets and fund management know-how offers them a huge competitive advantage. As well as being better placed to optimise the performance of our renewable energy assets, we’ll be closer to the end users of this energy, helping them to meet their needs at the same time as delivering even better performance for our investors. 

The climate emergency is clear and present and it’s all of our responsibilities to help fix it. Our combined business will be a massive step in the right direction. It will be a global force for good, accelerating the world’s transition to renewable energy, both in the UK and around the world.  

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