Simon Phelan

Simon Phelan, founder and CEO of Hometree

City heavyweights back energy start-up Hometree

The London-based technology enabled boiler installation start-up has raised £2.9m from a funding round featuring a series of top investors.

Energy technology start-up Hometree has closed a new £2.9m funding round, bringing the total amount it has raised in its first year to £4.8m.

Literacy Capital, chaired by Paul Pindar, also the chairman of Purplebricks and former CEO of outsourcing giant Capita, is investing more than £1.5m in the tech business, as part of an injection of £2.9m of new capital that will help Hometree expand rapidly during 2018.

Joining Literacy are investors such as former joint COO and board member of Capita, Dawn Marriott-Sims, who will become the tech company’s chairman and Anthony Gutman, head of UK at Goldman Sachs. A number of of Hometree’s initial backers including DN Capital, LocalGlobe, Oxford Capital and Jon Moulton also contributed to the round.

Hometree was founded in 2016 by Irish entrepreneur Simon Phelan, an engineer who had previously worked for private equity investor Jon Moulton. Moulton and former SSE chief executive Ian Marchant are both original investors in Hometree, alongside LocalGlobe, DN Capital, Oxford Capital and FJ Labs.

The company is the UK heating industry's first digitally-led boiler installation company and is shaking up the market in the same way that Purplebricks has challenged the traditional estate agency model and Eve has changed the way people buy mattresses.

Simon Phelan, founder and CEO, said: “We’re thrilled that without even looking for new money we have attracted investment from some of the City’s most experienced investors and business leaders with exceptional operating experience at the highest levels. We have grown rapidly in our first trading year but this fresh injection of capital will enable us to scale faster than we anticipated.

“The business experience and knowledge Paul, Dawn, and Anthony bring to the business at this stage will be invaluable to us as we gear up for serious growth, potentially leading to a much larger fundraise later in the year.”

Dawn Marriott-Sims, the newly appointed chair of Hometree, said: “I’m incredibly excited to become Hometree’s chairman as the business starts to scale. Two important trends - energy infrastructure becoming more distributed and the internet of things - are converging in Hometree and Simon and the team rightly see the opportunity to build a business that is capable of challenging some of the biggest players in the energy market by creating a brand new home services model that more closely serves homeowners needs in today’s world.”

Hometree’s new funding will help it build up the business in 2018. At present Hometree employs 25 full time people and 50 freelance gas engineers. This number is set to rise to between 100 and 125 staff and 500 freelance gas engineers by the end of 2018.

The company currently operates in London and Essex and expects to begin boiler installations in key towns and cities throughout the South East, Southampton and Bristol during summer 2018.