North East Venture Fund

Energy benchmarking business secures £500k in first investment by North East Venture Fund

A firm that provides businesses with energy benchmarking expertise has secured £500,000 funding in the first investment by the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and is part of the North East Fund.

Troo, which has been launched by one of the former founding directors of Utilitywise, Andrew Richardson, aims to disrupt the business energy broker industry. Through its online benchmarking site, it provides a platform for firms looking to switch energy supplier. Unlike energy brokers, which charge businesses an ongoing commission on the energy tariff, Troo earns a flat fee from a supplier once a contract is placed and is typically saving a business up to 30% on its energy bills.

The Newcastle-based business began trading in January 2018 and already has more than 1,200 customers nationwide. The investment will help to create a significant number of new jobs over the next three years, and it will allow Troo to further develop its website, pricing portal and build upon its current customer base.

Andrew Richardson, the CEO of Troo, said: “The investment, support and knowledge Mercia brings to Troo is critical for our growth ambitions. We believe that we have a disruptive product which enables businesses to gain access to fairer energy prices. This investment will give us the ability to shout about our unique offering and help more businesses to save money.”

Jan Oosthuizen, Investment Manager with Mercia, said: “Venture funding is an important ingredient for innovative and fast-growing businesses like Troo. We’re excited to be working with Andrew and the team as they aim to disrupt the energy switching market for SMEs, and we look forward to supporting more dynamic North East businesses in the future.”

Andrew Mitchell, Chief Executive of The North East Fund, said: “It’s great to see The North East Venture Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, making its first investment into the energy sector. Troo has already delivered great savings to businesses in 2018, and with this investment that growth should go from strength to strength.”

The NEVF can invest up to £1.0million into firms in Northumberland, Durham and Tyne and Wear, particularly those which are engaged in innovation or developing disruptive business models. Funding is available to all companies with high growth potential and also pre-start enterprises.

Muckle LLP advised Mercia Fund Managers on the investment, while Troo was advised by Peter Millican Law and UNW.