6th November 2018

Chartered accountancy and business advisory firm UNW has helped a business energy benchmarking specialist source and secure a six-figure investment from Mercia Fund Managers.

Troo was founded by Andrew Richardson with the goal to make business energy pricing fairer and more transparent, with its online portal (troocost.com) offering designed to ensure the process of comparing costs and switching supplier is as seamless as possible; saving time, hassle and money.

The Corporate Finance team at UNW spent a great deal of time working with Troo since its inception, getting to understand its growth ambitions and exploring possible avenues to fund these plans. UNW eventually struck a £500,000 deal with Mercia Fund Managers, who were awarded the £27m Venture Fund to support businesses across the region as part of the new North East Fund in April.

Many smaller businesses are paying up to 30% too much for their energy with a large proportion often going to a broker throughout the life of the contract with no added value. Receiving a fully transparent, fixed flat-fee from the supplier, Troo guarantees the consumer a fair deal with rates often saving businesses money that can be invested in personnel and products.

Robert Cooper, from UNW’s Corporate Finance team, said: “The term ‘disruptive’ is often thrown around in the early stage and start-up scene but in the case of Troo, Andrew has created something that genuinely is disruptive. Troo offers the marketplace a real alternative and its momentum to date demonstrates that there is a lot of interest in their way of doing things.

“UNW has been delighted to support Andrew and Troo throughout the investment process and the company is a great example of the kind of business we like to work with.”

Andrew Richardson, CEO of Troo, said: “Having worked in the utilities sector for over 20 years, I’ve seen first-hand the strain the lack of market regulation and transparency can have on SMEs and research has shown that, collectively, UK businesses are paying up to £500m too much for their energy every year.

“By being clear, open and honest from the outset, Troo can help demystify the sector for consumers and educate them about the energy they purchase. Even at this early stage, we’re offering a real alternative and already helping SMEs save thousands of pounds per year on their bills.”

Speaking of UNW’s support through the successful investment application process, Andrew said: “UNW has provided us with invaluable service and insight during this year. Not only have they offered us expert advice and introduced us to the right investors but have also provided us with a robust business plan.”

With its online bench-marking platform created, the investment will enable Troo to further market the product through print, digital and social media. The company will also be making several key strategic appointments in the coming months, with plans in place to add a marketing lead, business development manager and data analysts to its ranks.

The team that completed the Management Buyout

UNW has recently advised Perfect Image, a long-established and trusted end-to-end IT solutions provider, on a Management Buyout (MBO) that completed in May 2019. Chiltern Capital, a London-based private equity firm, provided financial support.

Samuel Knight International, a global recruitment and project man-power specialist headquartered in Newcastle, was founded by Steve Rawlingson in 2014 with the ambition of shaking up the recruitment industry. Initially tackling an acute skills shortage in the energy and rail sector, it has demonstrated an impressive level of growth since its inception.

Newcastle-based chartered accountancy and business advisory firm UNW has advised Receptive Software Limited on its sale to business software firm, Pendo, which is headquartered in the United States.

Following on from our previous article, HMRC have announced an updated guidance for those who are going to be affected by the significant amendment to the VAT rules for construction services known as ‘domestic reverse charge’ accounting.

On 13 March 2019, UNW and Northstar Ventures held an interactive morning session aimed at charities and not-for-profit organisations that were keen to develop their understanding and use of impact measurement.