ACCC sets precedent for groups of companies to jointly purchase energy
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is allowing a group of agribusinesses in the state of Victoria to jointly purchase industrial amounts of energy.
Member of the new Eastern Energy Buyers Group (EEBG) can run joint tender processes for electric and gas requirements for the next 11 years, a move which could lead to significant cost savings.
The group has a purchase limit of 4.5 Terawatt hours of electricity or 16 Petajoules of gas, the equivalent of 10% of the entire electricity consumption in the whole of Victoria.
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ACCC’s decision has established a precedent which may prompt groups of companies from other industries and territories to push the same sort of deal.
“Joint purchasing of electricity and gas will generate efficiencies compared to each member of the purchasing group sourcing energy separately,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“This joint tendering process is likely to result in public benefits as the group should be able to seek gas and electricity at a more competitive price.”
The joint tendering process itself will lead to savings on legal and negotiation costs, while energy companies may have to consider whether or not to drop prices in a bid to become more competitive and appealing to single business customers.
Australia’s energy sector has come under increasing fire for being mismanaged and unaffordable for both consumers and commercial users, with South Australia recently being given the title of being home to the world’s most expensive power prices.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.