Bulb co-founder Amit Gudka is stepping down to launch a battery energy storage company, dubbed Virmati Energy.
Gudka’s new company – which was incorporated at the end of 2020 – will seek to tackle some of the other challenges the energy sector is facing, such as how to store energy, address grid intermittency and decarbonise heating.
Virmati Energy will initially develop a portfolio of grid scale batteries in the UK before expanding internationally, and then moving into other generation and nascent renewable technologies.
The company is named after Gudka’s grandmother, with Virmati meaning ‘heroic mentality’, something he wrote on LinkedIn that she embodied and an approach that must be adopted now.
“Tackling the climate crisis requires Virmati, belief that large systemic changes can be made with the determination to make them happen fast,” Gudka continued.
He set up Bulb in 2014 together with Hayden Wood, and it now supplies over 1.7 million households in the UK and abroad. As chief energy officer, Gudka helped the company grow to 6% of the UK market, as well as expand into France, Spain and Texas.
They launched the company because they could see that “the energy supply market was broken".
"15 years after the liberalisation of the UK energy market, the incumbents (or ‘Big 6’) still dominated,” Gudka wrote.
“Customers were getting ripped off, paying too much for bad service. At the same time renewable energy was sold as a premium product and only 1% of UK homes were supplied by a renewable energy provider. We realised there was a big opportunity to fix this - so we founded Bulb.”
Wood will continue to lead Bulb as CEO, while Gudka will remain on the company’s board. The news follows recent appointments as the supplier has continued to expand its senior leadership team, this includes Adam Koffler announced as the new VP experience last week and Paul Ablin as chief financial officer in November.
“This is a critical juncture for me and I write all this with mixed emotions: huge pride at what we have achieved in the last 6 years, sadness to be leaving such a wonderful team,” finished Gudka.
“I have a real sense of FOMO [fear of missing out] as the smart energy transition really kicks off for Bulb, yet I'm excited at the massive challenge and opportunity ahead. I’ll still be part of Bulb, as a director and trustee of the Bulb Foundation - and I know we have great things in store for the future.”