Bulb Energy

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Bulb Energy
Bulb
Private
IndustryEnergy supply
PredecessorsRegent Power Ltd., Hanbury Energy Ltd.
FoundedApril 2013, UK
FoundersAmit Gudka, Hayden Wood
Headquarters
London
Number of employees
200+ (2019)
ParentSimple Energy
Websitebulb.co.uk/ Edit this on Wikidata

Bulb Energy Ltd., trading as Bulb, is a privately financed energy supply company operating in the United Kingdom, based in London. Bulb began trading in August 2015, buying and selling electricity and gas to supply domestic properties. It is one of over 70 smaller energy companies competing with the "Big Six energy suppliers" which dominate the UK market. Bulb competes on price, offering a single variable tariff. It buys all its electricity and 10% of gas from renewable sources. Attracting venture capital, Bulb currently runs at a financial loss while achieving rapid growth in customers.

As of March 2019 Bulb has over a million customers, representing a 3% domestic market share. It is the largest supplier of renewable energy in the UK, and the eighth largest supplier overall.

Company history[edit]

Founding[edit]

Bulb Energy Ltd. was incorporated in April 2013 under the name Regent Power Ltd., and was known as Hanbury Energy Ltd. between June and October 2015.[1] Its parent company is Simple Energy.[2] The company began to trade energy in August 2015.[3] Since it began trading, the directors have been Amit Gudka, a former energy market trader for Barclays, and Hayden Wood, a former management consultant.[3][4]

Finance capital[edit]

Initial funding came from the founders' savings and from their personal contacts. Backing was then obtained from JamJar Investments.[5] In August 2018 a further £60 million funding was secured from two backers: DST Global (owned by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner), and US hedge fund Magnetar Capital.[2][6] The value of the company is thought to be between £400M and £500M.[2]

Growth[edit]

Growth has been rapid since the start of 2017, and by early March 2019 the company had over 1 million customers and was employing over 200 staff.[2] Its headquarters moved in February 2019 from offices at Hanbury Street, Shoreditch to Bishopsgate in the City of London.[1][7]

Growth in number of Bulb's customers
Date Customers
(approx.)
Source
January 2017 15,000 [2]
August 2017 100,000 [8]
January 2018 200,000
300,000
[9]
[8]
August 2018 670,000 [2]
January 2019 870,000 [9]
March 2019 1,000,000 [2]

In terms of size Bulb has become the UK's eighth energy supplier, smaller only than the "Big Six" and Ovo Energy,[10] and the UK's largest renewable energy supplier.[11] This has been achieved without taking over customer accounts from failed suppliers, as rival companies have done.[12] An online investment company, SyndicateRoom, identified Bulb as the UK's fastest-growing private company of 2018.[13] Further reports of Bulb growth in 2018 with over 1.3m customers, passing £1.3bn in revenue, and raising over £60m in venture capital.[14]

Current provision[edit]

Bulb has attracted customers by promoting its "good customer service, low prices and promise to only use 100% renewable energy",[15][13] and its uniform tariff structure:[5] there is one tariff for all customers, with no exit fees or fixed-term contracts.[15][16] Bulb has suggested that the Big Six are overcharging, but the co-chief executive of one of the Big Six companies has cast doubts over the sustainability of pricing policies of Bulb and some of the other smaller companies, in the face of Bulb's £23.7m loss for the financial year 2017–18.[9]

Bulb supplies 100% renewable electricity, and 10% of its gas is "green" gas from biomethane.[17] About 50% of the electricity supplied by Bulb comes from wind power, 40 per cent from solar and most of the remainder from hydroelectricity.[6]

In addition to private households, Bulb supplies energy to businesses, although not to sole traders.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BULB ENERGY LTD - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Tech firms Bulb Energy and Monzo bag £200 million in funding". Evening Standard. 17 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Would you trust an energy firm run from a graffiti-scarred site?". This is Money. 19 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Bulb switches on revenue growth but losses spiral". Business Matters. 19 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Tech firm crowned UK's fastest-growing company". BusinessCloud.co.uk. 11 December 2018.
  6. ^ a b Havelock, Laurie (27 December 2018). "Bulb energy company targets one million customers as it takes on the 'big six'". i News.
  7. ^ "Energy group Bulb grows into City headquarters, despite suffering loss". This is Money. 2 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Challenger to Watch: Bulb Energy". The Challenger Project. 26 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Vaughan, Adam (14 January 2019). "SSE hits out after Bulb claims big energy firms are squeezing families". The Guardian.
  10. ^ Vaughan, Adam (28 February 2019). "Bulb to lower gas prices by 2% for 1 million customers". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Ross, Kelvin (1 October 2018). "Bulb Energy named in top startups list". Power Engineering International.
  12. ^ Vaughan, Adam (26 January 2019). "Small energy suppliers get a growth boost as their rivals collapse". The Observer.
  13. ^ a b "Bulb named as UK's fastest-growing private company". Utility Week. 10 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Bulb Energy: the fastest-growing startup in the UK". Sifted. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  15. ^ a b Smith, Oliver (5 March 2018). "Bulb: The Bright Startup That's Shaking Up Britain's £54bn Energy Market". Forbes.
  16. ^ a b "Business gas suppliers: The 5 top UK providers reviewed". Startups.co.uk. 26 February 2019.
  17. ^ "What you need to know about Bulb, the fastest growing UK tech company". Evening Standard. 10 December 2018.

External links[edit]