Just a week after green supplier Octopus Energy confirmed it was forming a partnership Co-op Energy, it has confirmed a further, international acquisition.
4hundred, launched in 2017, describes itself as Germany’s first digital-first energy provider. It operates primarily through a smartphone app, which shows customers their energy consumption and costs.
In a deal effective last Wednesday, 4hundred’s 11,000 customers, along with its 26 staff, will be transferred to Octopus and its data and service platform Kraken.
Last year the Munich-based startup received an investment from Octopus rival OVO. OVO is divesting from 4hundred, after receiving investment from Mitsubishi, which is itself looking to reenter the German energy market. Octopus’ acquisition will include OVO’s 55% stake.
Octopus is reaching what CEO Greg Jackson describes as an “expansion phase” as it makes a play to challenge the Big Six in the UK and looks for opportunities abroad.
On British shores, Octopus has been growing fast, both through acquisitions and switching. Last year Octopus acquired 22,000 customers through its purchase of Affect Energy and took on nearly 100,000 after being appointed the ‘supplier of last resort’ for collapsed supplier Iresa.
Octopus currently has around 850,000 customers in the UK. The Co-op deal will give them an additional 300,000 accounts, taking them over one million accounts. The Co-op brand will remain, as a white label supplier backed by Octopus.
Meanwhile, in May Octopus reached a deal with Korean solar cell maker Hanwha, which will use Octopus’ technology as it ventures into the Australian consumer energy market.
Jackson said: “Octopus Energy’s acquisition of 4hundred is an exciting step as we continue globalising our disruptive approach to energy.”
“Our technology is helping drive the affordable green energy revolution in the UK and is now going to do the same in Australia and Germany with many more countries to follow. Having grown to $1.5 billion (£1.22bn) revenue since launching just over three years ago, Octopus is determined to drive clean energy globally and this is another important step.”
4hundred founders Ilona Ludewig and Andrew Mack said their company’s values—“doing good, being honest and treating people fairly”—would continue to inform operations under Octopus’ ownership. They said that their company and Octopus shared a commitment to using technology to deliver “continuously evolving” service.