A technology start-up backed by venture-capital firms and high-profile City figures has set its sights on shaking up the Big Six as it hopes to become the energy market’s answer to Purplebricks.
London-based Hometree has raised £1.9 million from some of the UK’s biggest technology investors, including Saul Klein’s LocalGlobe, which has invested in Cambridge artificial intelligence start-up Improbable, and DN Capital, which has backed hybrid estate agent Purplebricks.
It also has impressive backers, including private-equity tycoon Jon Moulton and Ian Marchant, the former boss of energy giant SSE.
The company was founded in 2015 by Simon Phelan, who worked with Moulton at his private-equity firm Better Capital.
It will initially provide a boiler installation service for a fixed fee and through an app that will allow users to video call experts for advice on their boilers before branching out into other energy-efficiency services and products.
“There has been a lot of competition into the market for the Big Six. But unfortunately for consumers, they’ve all entered with exactly the same business model – supplying electricity and gas into the home via a tariff,” Phelan said.
LocalGlobe partner George Henry said: “Hometree is taking a radical new approach to providing services to the home and building a 21st century utility. The best companies often start from a very specific pain point.”