British Gas in £65m deal for Shoreditch business behind smart thermostat Hive

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The energy giant is acquiring nine-year-old business AlertMe, headed by the former boss of Tiscali.

British Gas already has a 21% stake in the business and is paying for the remaining 79% in a deal that values AlertMe at £65 million.


AlertMe creates “smart home” technology that allows people to control and monitor remotely everything from heating to CCTV on their smartphone or tablet. The business provides the technology behind British Gas’s new smart meters.

AlertMe was originally founded in Cambridge but moved to Old Street’s ‘Tech City’ area two years ago.

The deal comes as energy companies increasingly try to lure in customers with ‘smart’ thermostats that can be controlled remotely, pitching them as money savers.

Npower offers new customers thermostats by Nest, which is owned by Google, and SSE this week signed a deal with German company Tado, which makes a rival product.

British Gas’ commercial director Nina Bhatia said: “Already, we’re the only business in the UK that can build the technology, develop the software, and provide expert in-home installation and service.

“With access to new technology and skills, we’re strengthening our capability at British Gas to develop a family of products that will put people in control of their homes in a way that’s simply never been possible before.”

Like all of these products, British Gas’ own offering, Hive Active Heating, can be used by anyone, not just British Gas customers.

AlertMe boss Mary Turner said: “We are excited to move forward with British Gas, with an opportunity to roll out service for tens of millions of homes, and to realise our ambition for further global distribution.”

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February 13, 2015 |
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