Bulb 2018: Hypergrowth
After a wild and volatile year, Bulb, a new entrant in the UK residential energy market, ended March 2018 with 329,171 properties, 1.2% of the total residential energy market). This was 150% ahead of a plan for 130,000 properties and almost ten times the size the founders, Amit Gudka and Hayden Wood, had imagined in August 2015 when they first launched. Bulb was now one of the top 12 energy suppliers in the UK. Gudka and Wood were convinced that if they reinvested all their profits in growth, they would reach 500,000 properties by March 2019, and reach more than 1 million by March 2021. This would mean postponing the launch of a range of value-added services they had included in their original Launch Plan, but it could make Bulb number 7 in the industry and the first real challenger to the UK's "Big Six" leading energy suppliers to pass the one million-member mark. Even so, Bulb would still be less than 40% of the size of the smallest member of the Big Six and one sixth the size of the leader, British Gas. Was it time to seek more funding to really challenge the Big Six, making renewable energy mainstream? And did it make sense to delay value-added services to support energy conservation, distributed generation, and the switch to electric vehicles, or should they seek funding to support these initiatives too?