Mitsubishi Corporation buys 20% stake in greentech company OVO

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of OVO
W Ovo Stephen FitzPatrick

OVO has revealed that the Mitsubishi Corporation has taken a 20% stake in the business.

OVO will use the proceeds of Mitsubishi Corporation’s investment to expand into new markets across Europe and Asia Pacific and accelerate the development of its intelligent energy technologies unit, Kaluza. This new division within the OVO portfolio develops and manages software and hardware to support the integration of electric vehicles and dynamic battery storage onto the grid.

Dynamic charging and other integration technologies will be essential to support the energy market’s expected transition from two-thirds fossil fuels in 2017 to two-thirds renewable energy by 2050. Recent analysis from Imperial College London indicates that the market value of integrating energy devices, such as EV-to-grid chargers and dynamic batteries, could be up to £6.9bn per year in the UK alone. Considering the UK’s share of electricity generation, globally this figure could be 76 times as much (or £525bn).

OVO was founded in Cirencester by CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick in 2009 to offer cheaper, green energy to the UK energy market. It moved to Bristol a few years later to accommodate its rapid expansion.

The business is now the largest UK independent energy supplier with over 1.5 million customers. Expanding into smart home services and investing heavily in new technologies including energy storage and electric vehicle charging, the company launched the world’s first domestic vehicle-to-grid charger for electric vehicles last year.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of OVO, said:“Transitioning away from fossil fuels is the biggest challenge we face in the 21st Century. The costs of EVs, battery storage and wind and solar power have fallen dramatically in recent years, but it’s becoming increasingly complex to integrate them onto the grid. To succeed, we will need to develop new technology and redesign the energy system around the customer. We want to be at the forefront of that global, tech-enabled transition to a zero carbon energy system. This investment from Mitsubishi Corporation will help us get there.”

The deal is a strategic investment for Mitsubishi Corporation, a global integrated business enterprise headquartered in Japan, which has approximately 6,200 MW of energy assets under management and operation worldwide which is roughly equivalent to energy supply for 8.5 million households. Mitsubishi Corporation is present across the entire renewable energy value chain, owning and operating renewable energy assets, energy trading, manufacturing lithium-ion batteries and investing in distributed renewable energy projects including energy storage.

Stephen continued:“OVO and Mitsubishi Corporation share the same vision for the future of energy: secure, distributed and consumer centric, with affordable clean energy for everyone. We’re delighted to be working with an exceptional global partner which is perfectly placed to help us accelerate our international expansion and technology roll out.”

Katsuya Nakanishi, Executive Vice President, Group CEO of Power Solution Group, effective April 1st 2019 of Mitsubishi Corporation said:“OVO’s business model, long-term vision for the energy sector and culture align well with our own. They are precisely the sort of technology driven and innovative firm we have been looking for in order to strengthen the downstream business in the energy sector.

“We have been very impressed with Stephen and his team’s plans for the business. Given our global presence and experience in the energy sector, we feel we are uniquely well placed to help OVO to enhance not only their own business in Europe, but their international expansion plans and broaden their technology offering.”

Greentech Capital Advisors acted as the exclusive financial advisor to OVO.

In October 2018 OVO announced that Adrian Letts, Managing Director of Online at Tesco has been appointed Retail CEO.