Look After My Bills co-founders Will Hodson and Henry de Zoete secured the best deal in Dragons' Den history after selling just 3% of their energy switching business for £120,000.
Further evidence that the UK’s ‘Big Six’ energy firms are under increasing pressure from a new generation of smaller, disruptive power suppliers has come on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den.
Henry de Zoete and Will Hodson sold just 3% of their energy switching business Look After My Bills for £120,000 after receiving offers from all five Dragons.
After careful consideration, the duo accepted investment from Tej Lalvani and Jenny Campbell in what has been described as the best deal in the history of the show, which has aired on the BBC since 2005 and is now in its 16th series.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have got a deal done with two brilliant Dragons, Jenny and Tej, who we know will massively help the business,” Hodson told the BBC.
“This year has seen all Britain’s biggest energy suppliers increase their prices, some twice, and the Dragons are backing a company that protects people against rip-off pricing forever.”
Look After My Bills, which finds gas and electricity consumers the best deals and switches them automatically when their deal runs out, also plans to offer broadband deals and car insurance services in the future.
Dragons’ Den evidence that Big Six under pressure
GlobalData reports that the market share of the UK’s Big Six energy firms – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE – dropped to record low of 78% at the end of 2017 compared with 85% a year earlier.
The Big Six have monopolised the UK energy market since the gas and electricity networks were privatised in 1990, but more than 60 smaller rivals have recently emerged as effective competition, luring consumers away with cheaper deals.
According to the UK energy regulator Ofgem, 5.1 million electricity consumers switched supplier in 2017, the highest number for almost a decade, with more than a third leaving the Big Six for a challenger firm.
In December last year, small and medium-sized suppliers were supplying 21% of consumers with electricity compared with 4.7% in 2013.
In February, Prime Minister Theresa May introduced new legislation to force Ofgem to cap what she called “rip-off” prices until 2020, after which Ofgem would decide whether it should be extended on an annual basis until its expiry in 2023.