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UrbanChain fuels exponential growth by appointing Clive Barton

Clive Barton, UrbanChain

Energy market disruptors UrbanChain have ramped up their scalability ambitions with a pivotal appointment. 

Clive Barton has joined the UK’s leading provider of peer-to-peer energy exchange services. 

The new Group Finance Director has a rich background in business transformation across multiple sectors, including in tech and energy. 

Manchester-based UrbanChain, backed by global investment firm Eurazeo, is on course to turn over £22 million over the next 12 months and recently revealed its plan to acquire European businesses ahead of a planned IPO within the next five years. 

Commenting on his appointment Clive said: “I’m a great believer in doing things differently and not following the crowd. This is what UrbanChain co-founders Somayeh Taheri and Mo Hajhashem have done by thinking about things deeply”. 

“Establishing technology in a bid to make renewables mainstream is a really big thing in itself and then to engage with the market and get investment, it’s huge and I understand that.”

Clive’s career includes a series of high profile appointments, including as Interim Change Director at OVO, Chief Operating Officer at Talk Straight Group and Chief Financial Officer at Fleetondemand. 

UrbanChain’s peer-to-peer energy exchange platform is growing rapidly in stature by enabling companies from the private sector, generators of renewable energy and organisations in the public sector to build their own 100% green and localised energy markets. 

Its deeptech platform uses integrated blockchain and AI to match generators of renewable energy and consumers on a half hourly basis - resulting in cheaper energy bills and higher margins for energy generators. 

“I’m delighted to be part of the UrbanChain team and to be part of a long-term project,” said Clive. 

“My key focus now is around scalability and building a seamless finance function that looks forward while knitting that together with all other operational functions. UrbanChain’s billing engine is dynamic and unique in the market, so getting that automated is a key priority.”

He added: “The main thing is we grow in a sustainable, structured and automated way.

“We have made huge strides already to improve the customer experience and our team's development. We are now making a paradigm shift for customers and our team including internal tech automation combined with our B2B marketplace.  I have a track record of building best in class finance functions, operations and an award winning business - so I believe working together with Somayeh, Mo, Eurazeo, and the team we can achieve great things with rapid growth before the next round of investment.”

Eurazeo became UrbanChain’s major shareholder earlier in 2023. The Manchester-based company has also received investment from the  Department for Energy Security & Net Zero and Innovate UK. 

Outlining UrbanChain’s acquisitive strategy earlier this month, CEO Somayeh Taheri said companies with strong fundamentals and management teams, particularly in Ireland, Spain, France, Switzerland and Portugal, will be the target.

On Clive’s appointment Somayeh said: “Clive’s career speaks for itself and his appointment represents another landmark in UrbanChain’s journey since entering the energy market in 2017.  

“Strong team culture and customer service excellence, with coherency at the heart, is what we strive for each day. Clive will help us take this to new levels.”

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