One Utility Bill secures £1.6 million Series A Follow On investment led by DSW Ventures

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One Utility Bill extends funding to £3.3m in the past year

One Utility Bill – the Newcastle-based business which simplifies the utilities experience for consumers, landlords and letting agents – has raised a further £1.6m in its second fundraise within a year. The follow-on investment round was led by incumbent investors DSW Ventures, the venture capital business of the Dow Schofield Watts group, alongside the North East Innovation Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Northstar Ventures.

The latest investment, which takes the funding raised to date by the business to circa £5m, will allow it to improve scale and efficiency, further enhance its technology and create over 40 new roles in the North East in the next year.

Inspired by CEO Chris Dawson’s experience in rented accommodation, One Utility Bill consolidates household bills into one simple monthly payment, provides customers with a unified front-line support service and allows costs to be split between housemates. The company – which was founded by Chris and Dale Knight in 2015 – now manages energy, water, broadband and media with an annual value of over £15m on behalf of thousands of households across the UK.

Chris said:

“We’re delighted to raise this follow-on round from our investors, our second investment in a challenging but very rewarding 12-month period. This is a huge vote of confidence in our business and reflects the incredible progress that the One Utility Bill team has achieved over the last 12 months. We’ll be using the funds to further accelerate our customer growth and invest in our technology.”

DSW Ventures, the UK-regional focused venture capital business, extended its investment in One Utility Bill to £2m. Keith Benson, founding partner of DSW Ventures, said: “When we first invested during the first lockdown in 2020, we were very confident in the resilience of the One Utility Bill business and the team’s capability to navigate the crisis. They have substantially exceeded our expectations – growing the business significantly, increasing automation and creating a compelling proposition for its customers.”

Ian Richards, director of Northstar Ventures said:

“The co-founders impressed us with their vision and drive from the start, and, having worked with Chris and Dale since 2015, we have been pleased to see the way they have grown the business. We are delighted to help fund the business to the next level and look forward to supporting them in scaling up further.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors 

About DSW Ventures

DSW Ventures made its first investment in 2018 and is an investor in early-stage scale-up businesses requiring venture funding of more than £250,000, primarily on an EIS basis. It is funded by a growing network of high-net-worth angel investors. DSW Ventures is the trading style of DSW Venture Capital LLP, which is part of the Dow Schofield Watts Group.

DSW Ventures is a partner in British Business Investments’ £100m Regional Angels Programme, designed to help reduce regional imbalances in access to early-stage equity finance for smaller businesses across the UK. British Business Investments is a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, the UK government’s economic development bank.

Dow Schofield Watts is a UK independent advisory and investment group, headquartered in Warrington, Cheshire and with offices in Manchester, Leeds, Aberdeen and London.

About Northstar Ventures Limited

Northstar Ventures is a venture capital and social investment firm based in the North East. We provide funding for innovative, scalable businesses and high impact social enterprises. We’ve been supporting entrepreneurs since 2004, seeking out strong teams with great ideas that will drive high growth, scalable businesses, and sustainable charities. As the North East’s leading early stage investor, we have invested over £100m into start-ups, early stage businesses and high impact social enterprises in the region. Our investment managers have a wealth of experience supporting new and growing businesses and bring commercial and operational experience, PhDs and MBAs, international careers and a micro-business or two.

Information About The North East Fund

The North East Fund is a suite five venture capital and loan funds which was established in April 2018, to invest £120m in around 600 North East businesses in the period to March 2023. The fund managers provide business development advice and investment finance to small and medium sized enterprises based in the seven Local Authority areas of North East England: Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham. The programme encourages investment in and the commercialisation of new technologies, including low carbon technologies, as well as stimulating new business creation, private investment and entrepreneurialism in the North East, with a view to creating over 2,500 new jobs. The North East Fund has overall responsibility for the programme, which is delivered through five separate funds, each managed by independent, FCA regulated fund managers. Details of these, and up to date information on the progress of the programme, is available on The North East Fund’s

website: www.northeastfund.org

The North East Fund has been established with funding from the North East of England European Regional Development Fund programme, the European Investment Bank and from returns on previous North East based, publicly supported investment funds. It is jointly owned by the seven North East local authorities

Information About the European Regional Development Fund

The North East Fund will receive up to £58,500,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Information About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will lend up to £60,000,000 to the North East Fund programme. The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. For more information, visit:

http://www.eib.org/about/index.htm


About One Utility Bill

One Utility Bill simplifies utilities for landlords, letting agents and tenants. Through innovative applications, products and a dedicated team we inform, set-up, manage and close down utilities on behalf of our customers, saving them time and they won’t need to speak to a utility provider again. We operate four service lines; 

Notify – for letting agents https://getnotify.co.uk/

A web app used to register changes in tenancies for rental properties. We inform utility providers and local councils of all tenancy changes, incoming and outgoing. We pay commission per tenancy submission and cover void periods in properties.

ubundle – for lettings agents and landlords https://ubundle.co.uk/

Our ubundle service allows agents and landlords to offer rent as all inclusive with bills. Our web app allows our clients to create custom quotes, submit tenancy details and track their portfolio usage all in one place. This also gives our partnered agency a new revenue opportunity.

Fused – for students https://fusedbills.co.uk/

An all inclusive bill package where tenants are responsible for their portion of the bills only and we set up and close down all selected services, these can be; unlimited energy, water, broadband, TV Licence and media.

One Utility Bill – for professionals & families https://oneutilitybill.co/

An all inclusive bill package to simplify and save our customers time, we set up and close down all selected services, these can be; energy, water, broadband, TV Licence and media.

Our end product is a utility package for tenants where we fully manage their property utilities and services and consolidate them into one simple, easy to manage bill. 

As a startup One Utility Bill emerged in late 2014. We have continued to grow at an increasing rate and currently employ more than 35 full-time members of staff and service over 400 letting agencies. We are based in Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne and service lettings agents, landlords and tenants across the U.K.

Our in-house development team have crafted purpose built applications to simplify utilities for landlords, letting agents and tenants, and disrupt the utility management sector.

We have successfully raised over £5      million from investors (through a mix of venture capital and angel investors) since 2015. This is the fifth      fundraise for One Utility Bill.

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Safiya Marzook

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