One Utility Bill, a tech firm focused on simplifying utility billing for tenants, landlords and letting agents, has raised GBP1.7 million to further develop its platform and expand its business. The funding round was led by DSW Angels, the venture capital business of the Dow Schofield Watts group, and included existing investors the North East Innovation Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Northstar Ventures.
One Utility Bill, which is based in Newcastle, consolidates household bills into one simple monthly payment, which can be split equally between housemates. The company manages energy, water, broadband, media and TV licence with an annual value of over GBP10 million on behalf of thousands of households across the UK.
Founded in 2014 by Chris Dawson, CEO, and Dale Knight, chief technical officer, One Utility Bill was inspired by Dawson’s experience of living in a shared flat while a student at Newcastle University. The founders will use the funds to further improve the reach of the business, extending both the consumer and business-partner propositions, enhance its technical capability and create new and innovative features for customers.
Dawson says: “The last few years have been incredibly exciting for us. This new investment will enable us to further build a stable and scalable platform for growth. Our customer-first approach means that people trust us and come back year after year. We now serve thousands of students, young professionals, families and others with our all-in-one service. Dale and I are excited about the next stage of growth.”
This is the fifth investment for DSW Angels, the business angel network focused on UK regional scale-up companies. In September 2019, it became the first partner on the British Business Investments’ Regional Angels Programme, which committed GBP10 million of funding alongside the DSW Angels investors. DSW Angels was introduced to the company by NorthInvest.
Keith Benson, founding partner of DSW Angels, says: “We are very excited by the opportunity to work with Chris, Dale and the team. They run a great business with the capability and – following this investment – the capital to significantly outperform competitors.
“During the ongoing crisis, the team has performed brilliantly – their resilience and capability continues to impress. This is the largest fundraise in our short history and the fact that we were oversubscribed was testament to their credibility and the strength of the business they have created.”
Ian Richards, director of Northstar Ventures, adds: “We have supported the business since 2015 and have been delighted with the progress made by Chris and the team.”