Bulb co-founders (L-R) Amit Gudka and Hayden Wood | Credit: Bulb
Amit Gudka ‘compelled to look further into exciting and emerging field’ of energy storage but will remain on boards of Bulb and its charity foundation
Bulb co-founder Amit Gudka is stepping down from the green energy supplier after five years to concentrate on setting up a new energy storage and infrastructure company, today revealing he felt “compelled to look further into this exciting and emerging field”.
The entrepreneur, who co-founded London-based Bulb alongside CEO Hayden Wood in 2015, today said he would be leaving his role as chief energy officer at the firm, although he is to remain on the board of both Bulb and its charitable foundation.
Gudka told BusinessGreen his new venture is called Virmati Energy, and already has some investors and staff on board, with plans to ramp up operations at the firm as he steps back from his day-to-day role at Bulb. Virmati Energy will initially focus on developing and operating energy storage and renewables infrastructure in the UK, with a view to later expanding the focus internationally as well as moving onto other forms of generation and “nascent technologies”, he said.
In a joint blog post this afternoon, the company’s two co-founders wrote that Gudka had last year become “increasingly interested in the role battery storage will play as more and more renewable energy is integrated into the grid”.
“Just as we felt a little over five years ago that we’d landed on a challenge we couldn’t pass up, Amit’s work on battery storage has left him compelled to look further into this exciting and emerging field,” they wrote.
Since launching five years ago, Bulb has risen to become one of the UK’s leading household and business suppliers of renewable electricity and gas, putting it into close competition with the so-called Big Six energy suppliers. As of the third quarter of 2020, Bulb held a 5.9 per cent share of the UK domestic energy supply market, just ahead of rival green energy supplier Octopus Energy on 5.7 per cent.
Bulb has also expanded into France, Spain, and Texas, and has in recent years begun offering new products and tariffs such as energy management options for electric vehicle drivers and domestic battery technology to help cut bills and emissions. Last year, the firm also launched a new pay-as-you-go service enabling customers to manage their energy use via their smartphones.
“When we started Bulb just one per cent of households were with renewable energy suppliers,” Gudka and Wood wrote. “Now that figure is over 30 per cent. Green is going mainstream, and Bulb and our members have played a part in making that happen.”
Gudka’s new venture, Virmati Energy, is named after his late grandmother, whose name means ‘heroic mentality’, he told BusinessGreen.
“When it comes to the renewable transition, I believe this is the approach we need to adopt collectively to make things happen now,” he said. “Tackling the climate crisis requires ‘Virmati’ – belief that large systemic changes can be made and the determination to make them happen fast.”