Environment

11. Octopus Energy

11. Octopus Energy

Founders: Greg Jackson (CEO), Stuart Jackson, James Eddison
Launched: 2016
Headquarters: London
Funding:
$2 billion
Valuation: $7.8 billion
Key technologies:
Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, machine learning
Industry:
Energy
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 1 (No. 8 in 2023)

Persephone Kavallines

Aiming to spark further transition to renewable energy, British-based power conglomerate Octopus Energy pulled in $800 million in new funding last year to expand internationally and is leveraging AI technology in its cleantech business.   

The fast-growth innovator is relying on Uber-like digital technology for its solar, wind, smart grids and meters, and offering flexible pricing based on conserving energy and balancing demands on the grid. The company also has rolled into electric vehicles, offering EV leasing packages, installation of home chargers, and mobile apps for EV owners to monitor grid signals and get discounts.     

Founded in 2016 by digital entrepreneur and angel investor Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy is seeking to disrupt traditional utilities with a tech-driven approach using AI, machine learning, cloud computing and data analytics. Last March, the utility introduced an in-house developed, gen AI-powered service, Magic Ink, to provide tailored customer interactions and help prevent power overloads.

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Profitable and with operations spanning 18 countries, the company has more than doubled its retail business over the past two years and currently serves more than 7.2 million customers and 40,000 business accounts. The group’s Kraken software and data analytics system, which helps utilities track energy usage for efficiency, has been licensed to 54 million international accounts, up from 17 million in 2020, and the goal is to reach 100 million by 2027.

Last December, Octopus Energy received an $800 million funding boost from Al Gore’s renewable and sustainable energy investment firm and other existing investors, lifting the company’s valuation to $7.8 billion, a 60% increase from a prior investment round in 2021. In November, Octopus launched a $3.7 billion fund with Japanese utility Tokyo Gas to invest in offshore wind over the rest of this decade.

Energy investments grew worldwide to $2.8 trillion in 2023, with more than $1.2 trillion going to clean energy, according to the International Energy Agency. Renewables’ share of power generation is projected to rise to 35% by 2025 from 29% today.

Octopus Energy is pursuing the clean energy movement on a global scale through acquisitions and licensing deals. Over the past few years, the company has launched operations in several developed markets including Australia and Germany. The electricity provider has big ambitions for the U.S. market. It acquired Silicon Valley-based AI and machine learning startup Evolve Energy in 2020 and established a U.S. subsidiary in energy-centric Houston. Signally its expansion strategy, the company signed a licensing deal last June to begin offering its Kraken technology platform to U.S. licensees, with the first going to North American energy manager Tenaska Power Services in Texas for its battery sites.

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