Irish-founded start-up Hometree raises €7.2 million in funding
Start-up competing against British Gas in boiler installations but keen to expand
Hometree founder Simon Phelan: “We never started Hometree with the ambition of just building an online boiler installation service.”
The latest round brings total funding to date for the company to almost $15 million (€12.7 million).
Founded in 2016 by Mr Phelan, a Dublin-born engineer, the company say it is on track to see year-on-year growth of more than 400 per cent.
Glamorous it may not be but the UK boiler market is huge with 1.7 million units installed every year. However, consumers have historically had to choose between paying a premium to go with British Gas or opt for a local tradesman who they may not know or trust when it comes to installations.
Hometree, which has said it can deliver a boiler installation service that undercuts British Gas by as much as 50 per cent, says it is championing a “radically more transparent, convenient and trustworthy model”.
The company offers installation-qualified Gas Safe engineers that can be booked either online or via the phone, and claims to provide longer warranties and guarantees than other companies.
The latest round of funding will allow Hometree to invest in its brand and go national across the United Kingdom over the next 18 months. The business is primarily active in London and Essex at present, but has begun installing boilers in other key towns and cities throughout England as it looks to expand. It is also keen to move beyond boiler installations into a broader home services proposition, with smart home and insurance key areas the business is exploring.
“We never started Hometree with the ambition of just building an online boiler installation service, and this investment from one of the world’s largest financial institutions is testament to the market opportunity we recognised in the broader smart home space,” said Mr Phelan.
“By taking a highly customer-centric approach to a long underserved market, we have seen significant growth, and have developed a fantastic platform to offer increasingly attractive products and services into the home,” he added.
The new Series A round was led by AV8 Ventures and is one of the first investments made under its newly-formed €150 million fund. Other backers include Paul Pindar, chairman of listed online estate agent Purplebricks and mattress maker Eve Sleep. He is best known for leading British outsourcing giant Capita for 23 years.