Two energy heavyweights invest in Dundalk's Climote
Two of the Irish energy industry's biggest names have invested in Dundalk remote-controlled heating company Climote.
John Mullins, who was chief executive of Bord Gais from 2007 to 2012, and Ian Marchant, who ran Airtricity owner SSE for more than a decade before he stood down in 2013, have both provided a cash injection to Climote in exchange for an equity stake.
No figure has been given but it is thought they each invested hundreds of thousands of euro in the company. Both have also joined the business as advisors.
Mullins's activities since his exit from Bord Gais have been closely watched by the energy industry. He has set up several investment funds aimed at the sector, including a multimillion fund called Amarenco Solar, which invests in solar projects.
He oversaw a period of dramatic transformation at Bord Gais, including the creation of spin-off Irish Water. Mr Mullins has been highly critical of Irish Water of late, saying it has suffered from poor leadership and communications. Prior to Bord Gais, the Cork native ran Bioverda, a business owned by NTR, establishing its ethanol, biodiesel and bioenergy operation in the US and Europe.
His latest investment, Climote, is a smaller competitor to Google subsidiary Nest. Its technology allows users to control their home heating from anywhere in the world. It is a fast-growing industry; Google paid €2.5bn for Nest last year.
Climote was founded in 2011 as a spin-off of home technology business Smarthomes, whose backers included former presidential candidate Sean Gallagher.
It recently announced a contract with Sottish Power to supply its products to the Scottish energy company's 5.6 million UK customers.