Origin Energy increases investment in Octopus Energy

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Origin Energy Limited will invest an additional £94 million ($163 million) in Octopus Energy Group to maintain its 20 per cent equity interest and support the UK technology and energy company to continue its rapid expansion.

Since Origin’s last investment in September 2021, Octopus has made significant progress across its retail, renewable energy, and technology businesses. Octopus has grown to become the UK’s fifth largest energy retailer, increasing its customer base by 25 per cent to 3.1 million customers (5.5 million customer accounts).

It recently entered the French market through the acquisition of Plum Energie, adding 90,000 customers and the Kraken segment is profitable and has doubled its revenue forecast for the next three years, to more than £500 million. In addition, renewable energy assets under management have increased by £600 million, to £4 billion.

Underscoring Kraken’s global appeal in the energy transition is its ability to rapidly transform both business operations and customer experience.

In just two years, Octopus has successfully migrated 8.7 million customer accounts for E.ON energy in the UK, delivering both cash savings and an uplift in customer experience.

Following the recent agreement with EDF UK, more than 25 million customer accounts are now contracted on the platform, with many other opportunities being pursued, including Kraken for water and broadband and Kraken Flex.

The price of Origin’s investment is the same as the last investment in September 2021. It follows recent investments in Octopus by other major international investors, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), Generation Investment Management (GIM) and Tokyo Gas, which have invested a total £175 million in the latest funding round.

Recent capital raisings now value Octopus at more than £3.5 billion, representing close to a four-fold increase in value since Origin’s initial investment in May 2020.

Origin CEO Frank Calabria said, “We are very impressed with the way Octopus has navigated an incredibly challenging period for the UK energy market, with the company emerging much bigger and as the UK’s fifth largest retailer, better placed to deliver on its vision and growth strategy.

“Recent events have clearly underscored the significant advantage Octopus’ low-cost operating model and market-leading technology platform, Kraken, provides in a rapidly changing energy landscape, with Octopus able to grow and thrive while other companies failed to survive amid the consolidation of UK retailers.

“Octopus has already grown materially in value since Origin’s initial investment in 2020, and we believe our incremental investment provides a return well above our internal hurdle and is strategically aligned with our ambition to lead the energy transition to net zero. We believe Octopus provides an important avenue for future growth,” Mr Calabria said.

In Origin’s business, the migration of all electricity and gas customers to Kraken is progressing well and on track to be completed by the end of the 2022 calendar year.

As of today, more than 2.3 million customer accounts are on Kraken, well over half of Origin’s customer base, and customer happiness has continued to rate highly and above expectations as migrations have scaled up. Productivity performance has been strong, and Origin is on track to achieve the targeted cost benefits.

“We are delighted with the progress we are making on Kraken and the transformation of our retail operating model. Developing and operating Kraken in the complex Australian energy market further underscores our belief that the already profitable platform will be a leading global enterprise software platform through the energy transition,” Mr Calabria said.

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