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Socially-conscious energy supplier launches in Manchester

A start-up aiming to break the mould of traditional energy suppliers and fund renewable energy projects in Africa has launched in Manchester after gaining significant investment backing.

A start-up aiming to break the mould of traditional energy suppliers and fund renewable energy projects in Africa has launched in Manchester after gaining significant investment backing.

Brighter World Energy was set up to challenge the Big Six by offering savings on domestic energy tariffs and contribute to sustainable development at the same time through an innovative ‘buy-to-give’ model.

For every 2,000 energy customers the company gains, a solar-powered microgrid will be installed in remote communities in Africa where there is no access to electricity.

Investment backing

The company was launched with £500,000 of seed funding, including an £85,000 investment from Manchester-based Co Angel Investment, part of the Manchester Growth Company

The Co Angel Investment will be used to develop IT infrastructure to utilise smart metering, enable mobile payments and implement a digital marketing strategy.

The company has partnered with not-for-profit Robin Hood Energy to manage its energy trading and meter reading. 

Robin Hood Energy, set up by Nottingham City Council, is the UK’s first energy supply company owned by a local authority. Similar entities are in development for both Liverpool and Greater Manchester.

‘Exciting business model’

Cheryl Latham, founder and chief executive of Brighter World Energy, said: “We are delighted to launch Brighter World with the support of our investors, who share our belief that putting positively life-changing power in the hands of UK consumers, and addressing global challenges with a fair and transparent business model, is the right way to do business.

“We knew that there was a better way to do business and our customers are genuinely attracted by an opportunity, not only to save money, but to use what has been traditionally a grudge purchase to really help other communities and families.

“With more than a billion unconnected people around the world, making a simple switch here at home will turn on the lights for villages in Africa for the very first time.”

Akshay Bhatnagar, investor director at Co Angel Investment, added: “Brighter World Energy is exactly the kind of forward thinking, talented and growth-focused business that we are proud to support and develop in Manchester.

“Securing early-stage equity can be a stumbling block for many new companies, so the fact that we were able to bring investors into the syndicate for Brighter World Energy in under two weeks speaks volumes about just how exciting a prospect their business model is.”