Who owns Octopus Energy? The company’s global investors

By Chege Karomo — ON Nov 05, 2022
Octopus Energy
Leon Neal/Getty Images

With green energy touted as one of the solutions to climate change, companies like Octopus Energy are poised to lead the overdue shift from fossil fuels. Octopus Energy was founded in 2015 and has experienced years of exponential growth, with its valuation seemingly growing by billions each year. 

In late October 2022, Octopus Energy acquired 1.5 million customers and 650 employees from defunct rival Bulb, a company founded at around the same time as Octopus Energy. “We take our responsibilities very seriously,” Greg Jackson, the founder of Octopus Energy, said. “We will work unbelievably hard to deliver value for taxpayers and to look after Bulb’s staff and customers.”

Octopus Energy, a subsidiary of the Octopus Group, is owned by investors and company executives

Octopus Energy was founded in 2015 with the backing of Octopus Group, a British fund management company. Through fundraising rounds, investors poured in money to acquire a stake in the rapidly rising company. 

Origin Energy, Australia’s premier energy retailer, acquired 20% of Octopus Energy in May 2020 for $327 million. The investment gave Origin Energy an exclusive license to use Octopus Energy technology in Australia. Origin’s investment drove Octopus’ valuation to over 1 billion pounds. 

In December 2020, Tokyo Gas, Japan’s largest gas utility company, entered into a joint venture with Octopus Energy. Under its terms, Octopus Energy would supply electricity to homes in Japan. Tokyo Gas also invested $200 million in Octopus Energy for a 9.7% stake. The late 2020 investment increased Octopus’ valuation to 2 billion pounds. 

In October 2021, Al Gore’s Octopus Energy Group invested $600 million in Octopus Energy for a 13% stake, increasing Octopus’ value to around 4.6 billion pounds. Several months later, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board poured $300 million into Octopus Energy, scooping a 6% stake. 

By the end of 2021, Octopus Energy was valued at around $5 billion. Octopus executives and the Octopus Group own the rest of the company, meaning there’s no shareholder with a controlling stake. 

Octopus Energy’s investors demonstrated their commitment to the company by raising $325 million in July 2022

Founder Greg Jackson aspires to increase Octopus’ renewable energy sources tenfold in ten years

Greg Jackson, chief executive officer of Octopus Energy Ltd | Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Greg Jackson dropped out of school at 16 to code computer games. He studied economics at Cambridge, where he met James Eddison. The pair and Stuart Jackson combined to create Octopus energy. 

Setting up an energy company was Jackson’s lifelong dream. Growing up, he struggled to pay energy bills due to an inefficient system that modern technology could fix. Octopus uses a Kraken software system that satisfies customer needs and leaves plenty of room for innovation. 

Jackson told Techcrunch that Octopus’ embrace of technology sets it apart from rivals. He explained:

“What we’ve always sought to do is serve an outstanding service and a really, really risk-managed back end. We run 300 stress tests, twice a week on our hedging position.”

“For us, as a tech company, it’s just algorithmic. For rival companies, they’re either not doing that or they are doing it on spreadsheets and it just doesn’t work.”

Greg told the outlet that the energy crisis is fueled by a reliance on fossil fuels, which he believes should be a backup. “If we’d be using renewables as a primary source and then gas as a backup we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Jackson said. 

Jackson said Octopus plans to increase its assets and renewable energy sources tenfold in the next decade.