Countries around the world are taking steps to lower their carbon footprint and emissions. Japan snagged the limelight in October this year with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s bold announcement that the country will become carbon neutral by 2050. While the vision is certainly admirable and could help lower our impact on the planet, Japan will need all the help it can to reach that goal.
UK-based unicorn Octopus Energy will be helping the country by supplying clean energy. The unicorn has announced entering into a strategic partnership with Tokyo Gas, one of Japan’s leading utilities. With this deal, the UK entech company’s valuation has surpassed €1.6B.
Octopus Energy’s Asia debut
Under the partnership, Tokyo Gas is investing a notable €164M in Octopus Energy for a 9.7% equity stake. With this, the unicorn will launch its services in Japan in a 30:70 joint venture and make its debut in Asia. A previous investor in the entech unicorn, Origin Energy, has also participated in the deal by providing $50m (€41M) equity investment. Alongside launching services in Asia, the funding will enable the company to enhance its smart grid capability as well.
In Japan, Octopus Energy will deliver 100% renewable electricity, amongst other services. This is expected to help drive Japan’s green energy push further as it lags behind the UK by 50 per cent. As per Octopus Energy, in 2019, renewable energy in Japan accounted for 18.9 per cent of electricity vs 37.9 per cent in the UK. Octopus’s technology arm ‘Kraken,’ the tech behind the entech, will be licensed under the joint venture.
Founder and CEO of Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson says, “We are delighted to announce our agreement with Tokyo Gas, one of the most respected and successful Japanese utilities, to launch “Octopus Energy” in Japan. This Joint Venture will bring our exciting approach to renewable energy and technology to the world’s largest competitive energy market, and the investment will turbocharge our mission to revolutionise energy globally.”
A cleaner fuel source
Octopus Energy Group (OEG) was launched back in 2016 by co-founders Greg Jackson, James Eddison, and Stuart Jackson. The company claims to use the latest technology to enable the delivery of green energy and to transform customer experiences. The company’s domestic energy arm serves about 1.7 million customers with cheaper greener power.
Back in November this year, the unicorn expanded its services to Germany with the aim of amassing 1 million customers by 2024. Currently, Kraken is apparently used to serve 17 million energy accounts worldwide through Octopus’s retail businesses, plus agreements with Good Energy, Hanwha Corporation, Origin Energy, nPower, and E.ON.
The company attained the status of a unicorn back in April 2020 with a valuation over €1.15B, following an investment from leading Australian energy company Origin Energy. The investor acquired a 20 per cent stake in the company, for more than €330M. OEG is currently operational in Germany, Australia, and the US.