Octopus Energy will soon begin supplying electricity to homes in Japan under a new deal struck with Japanese utility company Tokyo Gas that values the UK technology startup at more than $2bn (£1.5bn).
The agreement received the green light from the board of Tokyo Gas in the early hours of Wednesday morning and will bring the Octopus Energy brand to Japan as part of a new 30:70 joint venture.
Under the terms of the deal Tokyo Gas, the largest gas utility company in Japan, will also buy a 9.7% stake in Octopus Energy for $200m, which values the company at $2.1bn, to help fund its expansion into the Asian market.
Greg Jackson, the founder and chief executive of Octopus Energy, said the investment will “turbocharge our mission to revolutionise energy globally”.
The partnership effectively doubles the value of Octopus Energy months after it became a UK “tech unicorn” after the sale of a 20% stake to Australian utility company Origin Energy for $200m.
Jackson said: “When Origin invested less than eight months ago, we said it was fuel for stage 2 of our mission. Since then, Octopus Energy has accelerated that mission to make the global green revolution faster and cheaper by launching Octopus Energy Germany and New Zealand, acquiring Octopus Energy USA and acquiring Upside Energy to deepen our smart grid capabilities with their powerful technology.”
Octopus Energy has become one of the UK’s fastest-growing energy suppliers since it began trading five years ago, in large part due to the strength of its software, Kraken. It has reached 1.8m homes in the UK and is growing quickly across global energy markets.
The technology platform makes it easier for energy suppliers to offer their customers “smart” renewable energy tariffs that integrate home batteries and electric vehicles to make using renewable power cheaper.
Earlier this year, Octopus was able to pay customers on its Agile tariff to use more electricity at home as renewable energy generation soared, by reflecting the “real-time” market price of green electricity.
Octopus has licensed the Kraken tech platform to UK suppliers including E.ON UK and Good Energy. Globally, there are more than 17m homes connected to the Kraken platform, and Octopus hopes to reach 100m within the next few years.
Takashi Uchida, the present of Tokyo Gas, said Octopus is the most appropriate partner for Tokyo Gas because it delivers “diversified tariffs and services using digital technology through low costs in the UK and overseas”.
“Through this partnership, we will contribute to the achievement of a better lifestyle for customers by realising value creation and delivery tailored to every one of them,” he said.