Auckland-based utility billing software vendor Agility CIS has bought Christchurch-based SaaS company Webtools Energy.
Agility claims to be the largest billing systems provider in the Australian market, with its platforms delivering billing and account management for millions of customers.
Together, the two companies offer retail energy solutions that Agility said could drive down costs across every retail customer touch-point.
This buyout follows Agility’s recent acquisition of Znalytics, a US-based energy billing software company with a growing presence in Japan.
Webtools Energy’s cloud-native product suite, UCONX, guaranteed accurate pricing estimates and cut costs by automating processes, including customer quoting and onboarding to meet regulatory requirements while minimising human touch.
A light-touch SMS tool, Swift, also automates communications alerts for consumers.
Webtools Energy clients include Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy and Contact Energy in New Zealand and had recently entered the Australian market with early clients Sumo and Simply Energy.
Craig Jones, CEO of Agility CIS, said Webtools Energy had developed an innovative SaaS product suite delivering transformational benefits for energy retailers in the most competitive part of the market: customer acquisition.
"With tight integrations of our Orion Suite and UCONX we can offer a more competitive retail energy solution that automates customer acquisition workflows and accelerates the movement of information across our client’s businesses," he said.
The New Zealand and Australian energy markets are undergoing major transformation, with significant regulatory reform, shifting consumer habits, and the rapid growth of renewable and distributed energy.
Technology, therefore, will be the decisive factor in retailer success, with many embarking on major digital transformation programmes, Agility said.
Under the private equity ownership of SilverTree Equity and Pioneer Capital for a year now, Agility has almost doubled its workforce and appointed a new CEO, Melbourne-based Craig Jones, in September.
Brett O’Donnell, founder and CEO of Webtools Energy, said the acquisition was a recognition of the work done by the Webtools Energy team to date.
"I love the fact two great Kiwi companies are coming together to provide a seamless solution for energy retailers and their customers, capitalising on rapidly deregulating energy markets globally," he said.
O’Donnell will join Agility as head of front end client solutions, leading the international growth strategy for its customer acquisition modules and will retain his position as CEO of WebTools Group.
Webtools' health and agriculture businesses remain in that group and are not affected by this transaction. They continue to be led by Harry Hawke and Melissa Baer.