Chameleon Technology has announced that   co-founder and Managing Director, Mike Woodhall, supported by the management team, has completed a management buyout of the business, backed by London-based Shard Credit Partners.

This marks a major milestone in Chameleon Technology’s ambitious plans to deliver consumer-focused energy optimisation solutions, based on the harnessing of real-time energy data from smart metering systems. The deal will allow the business to accelerate its product development roadmap in step with the country’s critical mission to achieve its Net Zero targets, where the decarbonisation and digitalisation of every home’s energy solution is a crucial part.

Chameleon is a success story and the largest In-Home Display company in the UK

Chameleon Technology was founded in 2010 by Mike Woodhall and Gary Martin. The intention of the Government to mandate the rollout of smart meters across the country provided the entrepreneurial spark that ignited a business that has now delivered over six million in-home displays to UK homes, received national awards for innovation and growth and achieved record sales of over £30m in 2019. Despite COVID-19 causing the GB smart meter rollout to pause for several months in 2020, the company will still deliver over one million devices this year and remain the largest and most widely distributed smart in-home display company in the UK. The deliberate timing of this transaction will see Chameleon emerge post-COVID in a very strong position with ambitious product development and commercial plans, ready to fully play its part in the UK’s green recovery.

Chameleon’s MBO is well-timed to leverage and support the transformation of the energy industry

This MBO is a significant milestone in Chameleon’s evolution. While the current Board of Directors has provided very effective governance over the last ten years – steering the company to triple digit growth – this transaction allows long-term shareholders to realise a several times multiple return on their investments. It also places the continually evolving and exciting future of the business in the hands of the wider, highly experienced and long-serving management team.

Chameleon remains focused on how real-time energy data and cloud solutions can deliver Net Zero

Chameleon remains focused on unlocking the value of real-time energy data and all of its applications to support the drive to Net Zero and a flexible decarbonised, decentralised energy system. Chameleon will continue to fully support its smart in-home display business, particularly driving the distribution of cloud-connected in-home devices, which provide an increasing array of actionable insights and will enable access to valuable future energy services.

Chameleon’s strategic partnership with Samsung, providing real-time energy data and data services to its SmartThings Energy Control Service, will continue to be a key initiative. Cloud to cloud solutions will also be further developed to enable other smart home, low carbon and home energy management solutions to be optimised and monetised. 

As the leading smart in-home display provider in the UK, which boasts the most advanced smart metering programme in Europe, Chameleon has already started to realise its ambitions to provide solutions and gain equal success in other international markets. It will build on its work to date in France supporting transformative low carbon projects. 

Innovation and a solid commitment to R&D have always been at the core of the Chameleon Technology business and with the benefits of real-time energy data and cloud to cloud solutions gaining widespread traction, Chameleon is further investing in its cloud engineering capability. This will see the company flourish in new sectors and develop new partnerships and solutions for the micro-generation, electric vehicle and low carbon heating sectors, among others. 

The MBO is a significant milestone in Chameleon’s evolution

A reorganisation of the Board will provide more commercial focus at this strategic level and ensure Chameleon is able to embrace and capitalise on the extraordinary opportunities the energy transition presents.

Co-founder Mike Woodhall will step up from Managing Director to CEO of Chameleon Technology and will continue to focus on value growth and the strategic direction of the business. Craig Stephenson, who joined the business in early 2017, joins the Board as Chief Commercial Officer. Craig will continue to manage customer relationships and business development and to further develop new strategic partnerships. 

Wendi Higgins will become Company Secretary and continue as General Counsel and will also join the Chameleon Board. Wendi’s input will become increasingly valuable as the business navigates the complexities of strategic partnerships and data and cloud solutions. Founding team member and current Head of Marketing Jennifer Woodhall will become Marketing and Communications Director and will lead an increased focus on customer, partner and new business development communications in 2021. 

Steve Mitchell will join Chameleon as the non-Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. Steve is an independent advisor and strategist in the energy, finance and technology sectors and has considerable experience at a senior and strategic level in the UK smart meter market. Steve will support the Board and management team to realise the company’s ambitious plans.  

Gary Martin, co-founder, Director and seed investor, is exiting his role as a Director. Gary will retain a minority stake in the company going forward. A number of other shareholders will also exit the business having achieved strong returns on their investments. 

We have an ambitious strategic plan in place to answer the requirements of the transformation of the energy system

Mike Woodhall said:

“I am delighted to have completed this management buyout of Chameleon Technology. Looking forward, we have an ambitious strategic plan in place which will answer the requirements and leverage the opportunities of the transformation of the energy system in this and other countries. The management team has been working hard to achieve the business’ goals for many years and has the experience, optimism, energy and motivation to deliver even more confident plans.

Mike continues, “In 2020 Chameleon reached its ten year anniversary. At this milestone, and against the backdrop of supportive government policy and the energy system transformation, it is the perfect time to put control of the company more in the hands of the management team. We will be bolder and more determined than ever and will move quickly to capitalise on new opportunities and partnerships. I am excited to be leading the Chameleon team on our journey to achieving our ambitious plans.”

Steve Mitchell said:

“Mike and the talented team at Chameleon have done a truly outstanding job creating best in class products and solutions, high quality manufacturing and great customer support. Today the company is a well-established market leader and a widely recognised innovator in energy management. The combination of a green economic recovery, strong regulatory support and a management team with an excellent track record foretells not only of a successful future for Chameleon’s customers, employees, partners and suppliers but also for the successful realisation of net zero carbon. I am both delighted and excited to have joined Mike, who is an exceptional leader, and his high-performance team who have such worthy ambitions.” 

Alastair Brown from Shard Credit Partners said: 

“Chameleon Technology has created an impressive business and enviable market position in its first ten years. The company has a unique opportunity to capitalise on a supportive regulatory landscape and further develop its technical solutions to provide value to customers, partners and end users as well as developing new initiatives and relationships. We are excited to be supporting Mike and the management team in pursuit of Chameleon’s ambitious plans and to facilitate continued growth and success for the business.”