The mystery buyer of energy auto-switching service Labrador is technology company Verv.

In a statement the company said: “Verv shares our vision to make technology work for customers – bringing down bills, making usage and cost more transparent and supporting the industry in its transition to digitalisation and a lower carbon future.

“The Labrador service remains the same – there is no requirement to sign up to anything new.

“Our full service remains and will continue to remain live, so you can carry on as normal and continue to benefit from our energy switching service as a new or existing customer.”

Last week Jane Lucy, founder of Labrador, told Utility Week that the business would have gone under had it not been acquired.

She added that in the meantime it was “business as usual” for customers using the service, which had not gone offline.

An official statement from administrators Carter Backer Winter LLP said the sale had been completed on Friday 5 April.

It said: ”Following a review of the financial position, the board of directors appointed Joseph Colley and John Dickinson of Carter Backer Winter LLP as joint administrators of the company on 25 March 2019.

“A sale of the assets of the company completed on 5 April 2019 and we are pleased to say that Labrador has been acquired by a company that understands the true value of their technology.

“The founder and technical team have been retained and full service remains and will continue to remain live so customers need not worry.”

Since news of the acquisition emerged, speculation has been growing about the buyer after several auto switching companies confirmed they were not involved in the deal.

Last week Verv announced it raised more than £6.5 million in its series A funding round led by environmental fund Earthworm.

Earthworm invested £5 million in Verv’s internet of things (IoT) as well as renewable energy trading technology designed to reduce household bills and carbon emissions by “over 20 per cent”.

Other investors meanwhile include British Gas owner Centrica, InnoEnergy and Crowdcube.

Centrica previously invested £1.9 million into Verv through its social impact investment fund Ignite via a convertible loan. It exchanged this loan for shares in the series A round.

Prior to its soft launch in September 2017, Labrador raised around £1.2 million from more than 30 individual investors, and then raised a further £890,000 via crowdfunding platform Crowdcube in exchange for 13.57 per cent equity.

In October last year, Labrador announced it was to provide 10,000 homes with its Labrador Retriever device as part of a partnership with tenant referencing company FCC Paragon.

The Labrador Retriever plugs into household broadband routers and automatically switches customers whenever a cheaper tariff becomes available.

Fellow automated switching service Look After My Bills, which featured on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, has now reached 130,000 customers.

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