Staff at fast-growing Octopus Energy were today celebrating two business successes, saluting separately the mystical Orient and the somewhat less mystical West Midlands of England.
Licencing Kraken, the operations and software platform underpinning Greg Jackson’s challenger supplier, to both the gas company serving Japan’s capital city, and to Coventry-based water company Severn Trent, represents two globe-straddling transactions for Octopus, now risen in its seven years of existence to become Britain’s Number 2 power firm, in terms of account numbers.
Kraken, a German word for Octopus, has been the operational information hub of the UK challenger, its ‘deep brain’ supporting service provision, customer account management, plus transactions and billing.
Purchased in the British supplier’s early days and developed further under Boston Consulting alumnus Deepak Ravindran, Kraken has attracted increasing licencing income from utility and broadband providers as far apart as Sydney, Silicon Valley and Houston, as well as Tokyo.
Today’s deals bring the total number of energy, water and broadband accounts Kraken is licensed to manage to between 40 and 50 million, halfway towards the company’s goal of managing 100 million by 2027.
‘O-heyo, Tako-kun ‘ / Hello, little octopus
In the land of the rising sun, the first of today’s deals will see Kraken managing 3 million electricity customers of Tokyo Gas, with potential to add around eleven million gas customers in future. Tokyo Gas has been a Kraken client for the past two years.
Founded as long ago as 1885, publicly quoted Tokyo Gas’s total of eleven million customers ranks it as Japan’s biggest retailer of natural gas. Sales of ‘low voltage’ electric power began as recently as 2016, the year Octopus took off in Britain.
Back home, from today Coventry-headquartered water utility Severn Trent is also now paying for Kraken to manage its 4.6 million accounts, including via customer service interactions, also powered by Kraken.
Extended and developed by Octopus Energy Group, Kraken has disrupted the energy sector with its operating efficiencies, drastically reducing the cost-to-serve, and improving customer and employee satisfaction.
Kraken launched to the market in 2016 with Octopus as its first client. It turbocharged Octopus’ rapid expansion and helped make it the only energy supplier to be Which? recommended six years in a row.
Severn Trent is the first water company to achieve the highest rating for its environmental performance from The Environment Agency for four consecutive years. The Midlands based FTSE 100 plans to invest £12.9bn in its region, bringing 7,000 jobs and major new projects that include laying new water mains the length of the UK – twice – in response to climate change and population growth.
‘Goin’ back to Jackson, / Hotter than a pepper sprout’
Of today’s licencing deals, Octopus CEO and founder Greg Jackson, pictured with Ravindran, observed: “Japan is the largest competitive energy market in the world – and no company is more respected than Tokyo Gas. Combined with Japan’s stringent requirements for customer service and the need to decarbonise rapidly, it’s a huge privilege for Kraken to be chosen”.
Tokyo Gas CEO Shinichi Sasayama explained; “We visited Octopus Energy and Kraken in London back in 2019, and were impressed by their excellent business model and the platform that supports it. We are delighted that just a few years later Tokyo Gas is the first company in Japan to license the Kraken platform”.
Deepak Ravindran, CEO of Octopus’ Kraken Utilities arm, declared: “Unleashing the power of Kraken unlocks both better service for customers, and operational efficiencies never seen before in utilities. We’re thrilled to join forces with Tokyo Gas and Severn Trent as we gear up to bring our cutting-edge tech to even more utilities.”