Ovo Energy, the UK’s seventh largest energy supplier, has made its first investment since Mitsubishi Corporation acquired a minority stake in the company last month.
Its recently launched technology division, Kaluza, has invested an undisclosed figure in Electron, which leverages blockchain.
The investment gives Kaluza a minority stake in Electron and will be used to “accelerate” Electron’s deployment of distributed energy trading platforms to enable the “transition to intelligent grid infrastructure”.
It builds on both companies’ shared vision for a distributed, flexible and zero-carbon energy system where connected devices such as electric vehicles (EVs) can support the grid.
The move also supports Ovo’s aim to expand into new markets for energy storage technology and the development of EV charging.
With the funding, Electron’s chief executive Paul Massara, the former boss of Npower, will step aside as CEO as Jo-Jo Hubbard moves into the role from chief operating officer.
Massara will remain involved in Electron as an adviser and investor.
Hubbard co-founded Electron alongside Paul Ellis in 2015. The company operates in three countries, working with utilities, regulators and other technology providers to bring flexibility to energy grids.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and chief executive of Ovo and Kaluza, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Electron team who have built great technology that’s fast becoming an important part of the energy system.”
Hubbard, chief executive of Electron added: “Ovo is perfectly placed to support the development of our asset identity and trading platforms.
“We are delighted to be working with an exceptional international partner to deliver on our vision of efficient, inclusive and coordinated energy markets.
“We are grateful for the strategic clarity and connections that Paul brought to the company and look forward to continuing to work together”.
Director of business development at Kaluza, Steven Ackroyd, will be appointed to the Electron board.
Kaluza develops and manages software and hardware to support the integration of EVs, electric heating and battery storage onto the grid.
Ovo Energy ranked top in the annual Uswitch.com energy customer satisfaction report as figures revealed a decline in overall satisfaction across the sector for the second year running. This year marks the fourth time Ovo has taken first place.