Bill Identity’s Acquisition Of Optima Will Inject New Innovation Into The UK Utility Bill Management Market

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Bill Identity’s Acquisition Of Optima Will Inject New Innovation Into The UK Utility Bill Management Market

On December 3, 2020, Bill Identity, an Australia-headquartered utility bill management software firm, announced that it had acquired UK-based Optima Energy Systems. Bill Identity (formerly BidEnergy) will pay £5.4 million (A$9.75 million) for Optima along with a deferred cash payment if certain revenue milestones are achieved within a year. Bill Identity plans to offer its automated bill management service to Optima’s customers and use the acquisition as a springboard for growth in Europe. 

Bill Identity’s acquisition follows a high level of M&A activity in the UK utility bill management market. Other past examples of this include Accenture acquiring EnergyQuote JHA in 2015, then Inspired Energy acquiring Energy Cost Management Limited (2018), SystemsLink (2018) and Ignite Energy Solutions (2020). In a market with slow organic growth and high levels of penetration, acquisition-led growth strategies have been the fastest way for vendors to grow customer bases. 

One interesting aspect of this latest deal is that Bill Identity is applying robotic process automation (RPA) to utility bill management to eliminate existing inefficiencies and push cost savings for clients even further. It is automating a wide range of processes such as extracting bill data, isolating inaccurate invoices, and passing a bill to a payment file using integrations with accounting systems. This improves the accuracy, speed and control of the billing processes as minimum human interaction is needed.

RPA could initially provide Bill Identity with a cost advantage over other providers relying on significant user intervention and consulting teams to process errors. This will aid in customer acquisition as buyers tend to select utility bill management providers based on price following significant commoditization, with some energy procurement firms even offering this service for free. The pressure is now on other utility bill management vendors to break away from the old way of doing things and refresh their technology roadmaps. 

To find out more about the energy management trends that will shape the market in 2021, such as the electrification of buildings and energy-as-a-service propositions, sign up to our upcoming webinar on Wednesday December 16thPredictions, Risks And Opportunities: What Should Smart Building Vendors Watch Out For In 2021?

Ibrahim Yate

Senior Analyst

Ibrahim is a Senior Analyst in the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice, which he joined in 2016. His current agenda covers innovation in software and hardware solutions for space management, workplace management, and workplace systems integration. Ibrahim holds an MSc from Imperial College London and MA from Cambridge University.