British energy start-up, Hometree is using a technology based solution to overhaul the domestic boiler market, similar to the method used by online estate agency Purplebricks and food delivery firm Deliveroo.
This week the company announced a funding round of £2.9million, led by Literacy Capital and Paul Pinder, non-executive chairman of Purplebricks. Dawn Marriott-Sims, a former colleague at Capita, will also be investing in the Islington based start-up.
Hometree has been described as the “next generation energy company”. Simon Phelan, founder and chief executive of Hometree, whose background is in private equity, said: “When I set up HomeTree I had a network of people that were able to fund the business, in just nine months we raised over £2 million from leading venture capitalists. We were approached by Paul Pinder who said he was interested in the business and that we could do things in a similar way to Purplebricks, if we could raise a bit of capital.”
Launched in 2016, the start-up aimed to provide consumers with a better customer and digital experience.
Phelan, said: “Consumers today are so used to buying everything online, they don’t necessarily want to speak to a trained salesperson in their home, they don’t want the inconvenience of waiting around or missed appointments. We have a telephone video survey model, employ no sales people, employ trained surveyors who are not there to sell. We take video surveys at times that are convenient to consumers, they no longer have to wait at home or do it outside of working hours.
Phelan said he hopes to further streamline the consumer journey making it more transparent and user-friendly.
He said the main thing was recognising this long-term secular shift within the energy market, something seen across utilities.
Phelan added: “Utilities of the future are not going to be commodities to consumers, they are going to be service providers. We are working on an online journey for consumers.
“I am passionate about renewable energy and the need to switch to a more efficient infrastructure model. It is one of the great generational challenges, but renewable energy has a really bright future.”