UK retail energy firm Octopus to launch in Germany

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Britain's Octopus Energy on Tuesday announced plans to supply retail power customers in Germany, home to big established utilities but is open to newcomers.

A fast growing start-up supplier in its home country Britain, Octopus said it aims to reach a mass clientele in Europe's biggest power market, where it bought Munich startup 4hundred last year on which it built the new firm.

Its propriety cloud-based energy platform Kraken automates much of the supply chain and can offer transparent rates that undercut incumbents with high overheads in order to meet power demand from households and electric car owners, it said.

"Octopus Energy Germany is targeting one million customers by 2024 and committed to fuel this rapid expansion with an initial investment of 80 million euros ($95 million) in the market," it said in a statement.

In Britain, Octopus has gained 1.7 million customers since launching four years ago, before recently expanding in the United States and Australia.

In Germany, it can tap into a decarbonising market that needs more data-driven business models and cheaper rates to help support the further roll-out and consumption of renewable power.

Nordic sector peer Tibber last month announced its German market entry with contracts it said would be 20% cheaper than the market average.

Purely digital business models can offer frequently adjusted rates, passing on fluctuations in wholesale prices, or meet customer preferences for time-of-use tariffs that defer usage depending on cost.

(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by David Evans)