Utility firm glides to success

Utility firm glides to success

Glide Utilities started as an idea dreamt up over a couple of drinks in a Birmingham pub and has now evolved into a multi-million pound utilities and services provider for shared households.

When it was launched in 2006, Glide was the first company in the UK to offer multi-tenant billing, which it says takes the headache and financial risk out of bills for students living in shared accommodation.

Ten years on and the firm is now helping fly the flag for the West Midlands after being named among the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1,000 companies to inspire Britain’ today (22 Feb).

“Our mantra is ‘bills made simple, life made simple’,” says CEO, James Villarreal. “We exist to take the stress out of utility bills, giving our customers time to do the things they love.”

Villarreal has seen the company grow year-on-year since its launch to become a £17m turnover business boasting 69 employees and 50,000 customers in the UK.

“This year alone the business stands to grow by an estimated 30%,” says James.

Glide has capitalised on the growing student market and increasing demand for shared accommodation.

“Our unique online portal gives tenants and property owners the ability to track and monitor all their household energy usage in one place, at the click of a button,” he says.

Glide also offers a mobile app, which allows customers to access and track usage, view and pay bills and enter meter readings, without even stepping into their home.

James asserts that any smart entrepreneurs can emulate their success.

“Just work hard, do your research and surround yourself with good people. If we can do it, others can!”

Glide is one of 73 businesses from the West Midlands to make the list, which is a celebration of the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses.

You can view the full report here.