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In The Spotlight - KrakenFlex

At Manchester Digital we like to interview our members to find out a bit more about what they do and their work in the Greater Manchester digital and technology sphere. This week we're speaking with the team at KrakenFlex.

What does your organisation do?            

Octopus Energy is Europe's best funded green-tech start up. We're a global leader in renewable energy technology and are backed by some pretty big names like Al Gore's sustainable investment fund, and are officially the most awarded energy supplier in the UK! What do we do? We supply renewable energy, services and technology.    

Launched in 2016, Octopus is made up of 10 different entities. We have over 3.1m retail customers and we're active in 9 countries (UK, AU, NZ, DE, JPN, ITA, ESP, US, FR) providing 100% renewable energy, on a mission for accelerated global decarbonisation.

Our Manchester based entity is KrakenFlex. KrakenFlex is a cloud based SaaS platform that allows: 1. businesses who own renewable generation assets (e.g. solar PV, wind farms, even utility storage) the ability to control and optimise these, and 2. businesses who own large energy intensive assets (e.g. data centres, HVAC systems, refrigeration) the ability to turn these on or off. There are a lot of smarts that go on behind the scenes to enable these functionalities, and allow real time control and analytics of how to balance supply and demand - to keep the grid stable and secure.

KrakenFlex is also now expanding into the B2C market, making our service available to domestic customers. This will allow residential customers to essentially have the same functionality, but at a smaller scale e.g. control their EV, heat pump, solar PV, battery storage system, to ensure that energy consumers can get the greenest, cleanest and cheapest electricity available.

What do you think is currently the biggest issue facing the tech industry?        

Skill shortage has been a challenge in the sector for some time and that doesn’t seem to be changing quickly. We’re lucky to consistently attract such great talent to the team, but with the amount of growth we’re going through, we do often see areas where the number of opportunities on the market outnumber the candidates with the experience to fill them. And it’s not only us- recent reports show that 79% of UK based CEOs are concerned about the availability of technical skills, with the most in demand including Data Science, Cloud Computing and Cyber Security.

What is your organisation’s biggest achievement?

Wow- where to start!? It’s going to be difficult to give just one, so to give a couple of honourable mentions to our runner up achievements: being named one of “Glassdoor’s best places in the UK to work for 2022,” Kraken Technology so early into its journey being licensed in 9 different countries, making it a global platform, and expanding our KrakenFlex solution into Canada, Norway and India. We’ve had a lot to celebrate over the last 6 years!

But our biggest achievement as a group relates to 1 of our 3 core values; being customer centric, always putting the needs of our customer first. With that in mind our product and service has led to us being the only energy provider to ever be named Which’s Recommended Provider for 5 years in a row.

What would you consider to be your organisation’s biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge currently is the ability to continue to articulate what we do and why it’s so important. Climate change and Net Zero goals have finally got the air time they deserve, but in order to achieve these aims in our lifetime, we need not only the UK population, but the world to think about their energy consumption and how this can be controlled and optimised.                        

KrakenFlex offers not only businesses, but residential customers the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint, harness renewable generation, and also reduce their energy bills. But to do this, we need to work tirelessly to make this offering simple, easy and affordable for all. This is a challenge that our whole organisation has the ability to influence and something that motivates us all every day.

What do you think the future looks like for Manchester’s tech sector?        

Incredibly bright. With our history as pioneers of tech and the increasing amount of investment that has come into the city in the last 5 years, how could it not be?

The pandemic if anything only seems to have fed the city's tech growth with 28% of jobs in Manchester now being in the tech sector. The scope for remote working has helped somewhat with candidates based all over the country now being able to work for a Manchester business, such as KrakenFlex. But outside of that we’ve even seen candidates increasingly looking to relocate to the North as a result of the pandemic for the cheaper cost of living.

We have world class universities as well as coding bootcamps and a thriving tech scene of self learners rushing to fill the skills gap. On top of that we have some of the most exciting tech businesses in the UK (including us!) building their teams in our city.                 

Tell us something that we might not know about your company?

The KrakenFlex tentacle of the Octopus Energy Group family was originally Upside Energy - founded by 3 friends, who had a belief that controlling hundreds of millions of devices in the home - would disrupt an incumbent industry and enable a green revolution. Their unique backgrounds and skills came together to create algorithms, code and user interfaces that were the beginning of something super special.                        

Those 3 guys from Lancaster University are still here today, and are able to provide not only deep technical knowledge of how our platform originated, but provide the backbone of our culture. An innovative, creative and dynamic place to work, with the aim of utilising renewable generation, storage and peoples homes to provide a green energy ecosystem for all.

Since we joined the Octopus family in 2020, you’ll now find hundreds of stuffed Constantines (that’s the name of our beloved Octopus mascot!) throughout our offices, and potentially around Manchester soon enough! 

Thank you! 

To find out more about Octopus Energy, click here.

Learn more about some of their upcoming roles here.

Want to raise your business's profile? If you're a member, contact to discuss featuring your content on our site, social media or newsletter. If you're not a member, get in touch today to discuss the benefits of membership.

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