With its sights set on improving heating efficiency and installing smart home solutions, British smart home systems installer BOXT has raised £20 million. The funding round was led by one of the largest global investors in infrastructure, Brookfield, which has also invested in residential infrastructure specialists Thermondo in Germany and Enercare in Canada and the U.S.
The funds will enable the startup to ramp up expansion plans to become the leader in the U.K. domestic heating market. In doing so, the platform is also supporting the government’s pledge to cut the U.K. emissions by 80% by 2050. The fundraising follows an initial investment from engineering giant Bosch.
Born out of a belief that the heating industry wasn’t fair on consumers, the startup was founded in Leeds in 2017 by Mel Butler, Andy Kerr, and Keith Jones. In a mission to develop a unique digital platform to simplify and democratise the process for homeowners, the platform offers consumers an uber-style service for fitting boilers, electric vehicle chargers, and air conditioning.
With smart home devices such as thermostats, smoke alarms, cameras, and speakers, the startup has disrupted the home heating installation market to become Britain’s second-largest boiler installer, providing services to over 100,000 households nationwide.
Removing the need for an on-site visit to quote, the company passes on the cost savings made through streamlining processes. Its intuitive online service and a trusted army of engineers mean customers can obtain competitive fixed prices and installation within 24 hours.
Going forward, it plans to grow its customer base to over 300,000 households by 2025. The digital heating disruptor has amassed a network of over 3,000 engineers and plans to increase the size to 6,000 by 2023 to meet customer demand. The platform has unveiled a home cover for existing customers in 2020, a boiler repair solution in 2021, and entered into a partnership with Google for smart home packages.
Andy Kerr, founder, and CEO, BOXT said: “The company has continually delivered double-digit growth since 2017. Bucking the trend of the traditional UK heating industry, we’ve achieved over 50% underlying sales growth despite the challenging economic circumstances throughout the COVID 19 pandemic. We’ve invested significantly in technology that creates a smooth customer journey, reducing waste and additional journeys for both customers and engineers.
Sikander Rashid, Managing Partner, Brookfield said: “The U.K. home heating market is expected to experience accelerating change over the next few decades in response to progress in technology and regulation. Having rapidly gained the trust of thousands of consumers, we believe BOXT is well-positioned to continue to grow its market share, given the attractiveness of the online offer combined with the scalable and flexible business model.”