The Commonwealth Bank has made a second major investment in a digital startup, investing $20 million in a series B round for electricity retailer Amber.
The deal follows a $30 million investment by CBA for a 23% stake in e-commerce retail platform Little Birdie.
The Amber investment gives CBA a 25% stake in the business.
The Amber app offers electricity at wholesale prices for a $15 monthly subscription fee. The business has a goal of 100,000 customers by 2022.
Amber, founded in 2017, previously raised $10 million in a Series A funding co-led by Main Sequence and Square Peg.
CBA’s investment includes a partnership agreement that will see Amber roll out services and discounted pricing to the bank’s customers. The deal also moves into the green home financing territory pioneered by Brighte, with Amber collaborating with CBA to offer low-cost finance to buy household batteries, smart electric vehicle (EV) chargers and other smart devices.
Amber co-CEO and co-founder Dan Adams said the partnership with the bank was a big step towards their goal of a million customers driving a shift to 100% renewables.
“CBA’s investment in Amber means we can accelerate our business to reach more people sooner and fast-track Australia’s renewable transition,” he said.
“We need to give people an incentive and the technology to use cheaper renewable power when it is available. The Amber model does this by giving customers direct access to the wholesale energy price so they can directly benefit from shifting their usage to times when renewables are plentiful.
“We are also building the technology to optimise household batteries, EV chargers and other smart devices to automate this load shifting for customers.
“With a million Amber customers we could shift enough demand to replace an entire coal fired power station with wind and solar farms.”
CBAk Group Executive Angus Sullivan said the bank recognised the important role we play in supporting Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy.
“Through this partnership with Amber we will help our customers see how their energy costs are calculated, help them save money on their energy bills and help them use renewable sources of power,” he said.
“Our partnership with Amber follows the recent announcement of the new CommBank Green Loan, which will make it easier for CBA home loan customers to purchase and install clean energy products for their home.”