- Company: Spark Energy Limited
- Description: Ofgem regulated and accredited domestic supplier of gas and electricity to UK residential tenants.
- Sector: Energy
- Location: Selkirk, Scottish Borders
For funding to create growth and jobs, we had the answer
Listen to the Spark Energy story in the following podcast or read the story below:
The problems one man faced
Serial entrepreneur PJ Darling had spotted a gap in the market. Experience in property had shown him the administrative hassles that managers faced when organising utility services for their managed properties. PJ knew he could improve the process. And, for tenants, undercut the big six energy companies on price. For that, he had to establish his own utility company. But that meant raising capital, not to mention overcoming other barriers to overcome. He needed funding, plus a little extra expertise.
Could Scottish Enterprise help? The answer was yes.
The answers we gave him
In 2006 PJ began raising money from Angel investors, and talking to us at the same time. Since then, we’ve supported PJ with seed funding and follow-on funding (totalling around £500,000 of the £7m that was so vital for the development of the company). Our support helped leverage additional private funding, without which the project couldn’t go ahead.
Scottish Enterprise's Investor Ready Support was also pivotal. It helped PJ cover the costs of preparing financial information, hiring external expertise, and developing new billing and registration systems in line with the latest smart meter technology.
We also helped the firm secure premises at Ettrick Riverside, an ideal location ensuring favourable terms for the Borders site.
Has growth been established and new jobs created? You know the answer
In its first 4 years of business, Spark Energy achieved a turnover of £10m, employing 75 staff. It predicts to double in size within the next 12 months and aims to reach sales in excess of £50m within the next five years.
Paul Crookshanks, Spark’s SE account manager, explains his controbution: “It's all about understanding what’s holding them back, and knowing what we can do to help them overcome these issues. Without the investments Scottish Enterprise has made, I don’t think the business would have got to where it is now."
PJ adds: "Our relationship has been absolutely vital to helping the business grow.”
Scottish Enterprise helped Spark Energy with the funding it needed. We could help your business too.
Read next case study