Showing that he practice what he preaches, green advocate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore invested £8 million in Ovo Energy. The investment comes before one of the fastest-growing new power suppliers in the UK launches its initial public offering (NYSEARCA:IPO).
Ovo differentiates itself from competitors by offering renewable energy, using two tariffs. Its energy are sourced from wind farms in Gloucesterhsire and North Wales and from burning of landfill gas.
The investment, raised in growth capital through Gore's sustainable investment fund Generation Investment Management, was completed in January.
With Gore's investment, considered the largest investment deal in the energy firm's history, the former VP becomes a minority shareholder in the company established in 2009 by Stephen Fitzpatrick to challenge the Big Six energy companies.
"The most important thing for us was that we didn't have to give up any control. We had previously turned down a deal with a private equity investor as we were being asked to give up too much control relative to the stake we were selling," Fitzpatrick told The Telegraph.
The investment will be used to expand Ovo's technology operations, develop new products and improve its management team in the run up to the IPO within the next 18 months. Ovo targets to raise £25-£35 million.
Fitzpatrick said the flotation aims to raise money to fund new opportunities and to provide liquidity to Ovo's 500 plus workers via share options. He added that Ovo has tripled in size the past 12 months as customer base as of October 2013 hit 400,000 from 150,000.
Ovo was voted in 2011 at the Which? Switch consumer survey as the Top Energy Provider in the UK when it received high scores from consumers for customer service, bill clarity and accuracy, and value for money. Its total score was 77 per cent. However, in 2013, Ovo's score went down to 74 per cent and it finished fifth place, resulting in the energy firm's five-star rating downgraded to four stars.
Due to the offer by Ovo and other smaller energy suppliers, more than two million customers left the Big Six, made up of British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, ScottishPower and SSE. However, the Big Sill still supply 95 per cent of the energy requirements of UK households, although the switch helped consumers save an average of £200 on their bills.
The Ovo IPO will likewise give retail investors a chance to support green energy producers, besides leaving the Big 6. But the desire to support worthy pro-environment companies should also be balanced by wise financial decision-making.
In that regard, consumers are advised by experts to acquire investor education. One good source of investor education is Red Bank, New Jersey-based investment education company InvestView (OTCQB: INVU).
InvestView, Inc. provides and delivers a comprehensive online program of investor education: proprietary investor search tools and trading indicators, weekly newsletters as well as access to live weekly Trading Rooms. It delivers subscription-based financial education courses through InvestView's web site. InvestView also allows new retail investors to use the portal's subscriber information on a 2-week trial period for $9.95The company does it through its online education, analysis and application platform that provides analysis, tools, education solutions and an application. InvestView's web-based tools were designed to simplify stock research and improve the investor's research efficiency. One such tool is the Market Point, which is made up of five sections, namely: Charts, Stock Watch, Market, Calendar and Campus.
InvestView offers five training courses that provide an incredible education in the stock market. The five InvestView courses build upon each other. Beginners should take them in the suggested sequence, while more seasoned traders may jump right into the more advanced topics that they are craving to better understand and give them the edge as a successful trader. Each course is offered via live webinar and as a recorded on-demand videos that is immediately posted at the end of each webinar. For more information, please visit their web site.