OVO has invested in energy technology firm Electron, teasing that it is the first in a series of strategic investments.
The investment originates from OVO’s newly-formed tech development unit Kaluza which has its purpose in developing software and hardware solutions for OVO’s service suite.
Electron was founded in 2015 and has gained a reputation for being at the forefront of integrating emerging technologies, specifically blockchain, into the energy system.
A core component of Electron’s work has been its shared asset register, which aims to identify and monitor every generating asset on the UK’s grid. Kaluza described the asset register as “crucial” to supporting its own growth.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and chief executive at both OVO and Kaluza, paid testament to Electron’s work to date, stating that they had built technology that’s “fast becoming an important part of the energy system”.
The deal will see minor changes to Electron’s management. Ex-npower chief and industry Paul Massara is to step back from his role as CEO and remain on as an advisor, with co-founder and current COO Jo-Jo Hubbard stepping into the hot seat.
“OVO is perfectly placed to support the development of our asset identity and trading platforms. We are delighted to be working with an exceptional international partner to deliver on our vision of efficient, inclusive and coordinated energy markets,” Hubbard added.
But perhaps crucially for OVO and Kaluza, the firm noted that this stood to be the first in a series of investments by OVO, stemming from an investment it received from Mitsubishi Corporation that it has since been revealed amounted to £200 million, valuing OVO at £1 billion.
It also continues one of the most prevalent trends for the energy sector so far this year; M&A and investment activity.
Major energy players such as Shell and Centrica have announced major investments in strategic businesses and technologies so far this year, followed by the likes of Good Energy, Faraday Grid and Zenobe have too either been investing or received investment since the turn of the year.