Former Tesco chief and investment house founder inject £1.2m into green energy innovator

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 24 Jan 2018

High profile businessmen Sir Terry Leahy and Bill Currie have brought big backing to Grimsby-area green technology innovator MyEnergi.

Sir Terry, former chief executive of Tesco, and Mr Currie, founder of investment house William Currie Group, are ploughing £1.2 million into the Binbrook business, boosted recently by avid support from by sci-fi screen star and electric vehicle ambassador Robert Llewellyn.

MyEnergi produces the Zappi electric vehicle charger and Eddi smart power diverter, allowing renewable energy users to maximise their sustainable power solutions. 

The investment, by way of shares in the company, will allow production capacity to be increased at the Church View premises, with a team of seven almost doubled in the last month and further staff likely to be required, following the successful launch in late 2016.

Founders Lee Sutton and Jordan Brompton, who retain a controlling stake in the company, said they are “delighted to welcome the influential pair with open arms,” and “are excited to see where they can take MyEnergi with their proven expertise and support”. 

The team has a long road map of products to release and shows no signs of slowing down with their minds set on going global.

FULLY ENDORSED: Zappi's starring role in an episode of Robert Llewellyn's Fully Charged has been seen by more than 94,000 people. 

“Our ethos at MyEnergi is to develop affordable, easy-to-install solutions to help maximise the benefit of solar panels and wind turbines,” Mr Sutton said. “As an owner of solar panels myself, and a lengthy career in electronic engineering, I thought why not develop solutions that will improve my return on investment and make the absolute most of my system. Our products do just that.

“Eddi and Zappi reduce the payback period making having solar panels installed on your home even more attractive. This is a big passion of the MyEnergi team as a collective.”

Domestic solar installations in the UK are approaching the one million mark and are backed up by the impressive electric vehicle uptake. Currently the UK has 135,000 electric cars and 5,000 electric vans, and recent announcements by major manufacturers reinforces the direction of travel, with several committing to be fully electric, some as early as 2019.

“The investment has arrived at a perfect time to ramp production up to satisfy demand,” Mrs Brompton said. “They are angel investors, and have offered us their full support. They will sit on our board if we need them to, they are so supportive. We couldn’t have asked for better investors.”

POWLES POWER: Local actress Sophie Powles, best known for her role in Emmerdale, pledged her support, fronting a promotional video for the launch as she focused her own passion for sustainability.

The context is clear too. “Here at MyEnergi we see a pattern emerging across Europe as the demand for electricity goes up, unfortunately so do prices,” Mrs Brompton said. “However, the price of self-generation systems such as solar panels are coming down and technology is improving at a rapid rate. One way to lower your bills is to generate your own electricity and use it within the household – self-consumption. This is something MyEnergi is extremely passionate about, giving the power back to the people, lowering utility bills and reducing the pressure on our national grid which means less reasons to use coal, gas and nuclear power.”

Sir Terry led Tesco for 15 years, cementing its status as the UK's number one retailer, and a leading global powerhouse. His achievements, including quadrupling sales and profits, brought recognition from The Wall Street Journal and CNBC as European Business Leader of the Year and he was named European Businessman of the Year by Fortune. He stepped down in 2011 and is now a senior adviser and holds many board positions. 

Mr Currie is a former top-ranked, multi award-winning retail analyst for Barclays (BZW), Hoare Govett and Charterhouse Securities, where he was joint managing director. Having founded William Currie Group, it specialises in investments in the retail, e-commerce and tech sectors. Past investments have included ASOS, QXL, The Hut Group, Zooplus, Caffé Nero and Anatwine.

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