HOUSTON, May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Centrica plc, parent company of Direct Energy®, one of North America's largest retail providers of electricity, natural gas, and home and business energy-related services, today announced the acquisition of the assets of Rokitt Inc. and their proprietary Rokitt Astra Technology. Rokitt is a technology company based in New Jersey.
Specifically, Centrica's acquisition, through a subsidiary of its Centrica Innovations unit, Io-Tahoe LLC, includes the assets of Rokitt and their proprietary Rokitt Astra technology that enables companies to discover meaningful information from their data and data relationships through a unique set of machine learning algorithms.
This technology supports an important area of strategic focus and offers a leading data management solution when combined with the Io-Tahoe®1 suite of smart solutions. The Rokitt Astra technology, recently recognized by leading Gartner2 analysts as a smart data discovery and modern stewardship solution, complements Centrica's existing data management capabilities, which include Data Tap, Fingerprinting and Concierge. Rokitt Astra also enables Centrica Innovations to build, and Direct Energy customers to benefit from, a broader, more comprehensive digital technology portfolio, innovation technology pipeline and expertise in data science and analytics.
"Direct Energy customers across North America will benefit from the combined resources and capabilities of Rokitt Astra and Io-Tahoe as part of our on-going commitment to delivering a smarter energy future helping residential and business customers take control of their energy and save money," said Christophe Defert, Centrica Innovations Director - Ventures, based in Houston, Texas.
This represents Centrica Innovations' first portfolio investment, following its commitment to invest £100 million over the next five years in start-ups, incubation and acceleration programs. It is directly aligned with the company's customer-focused strategy to identify and invest in physical and digital technologies and innovative ideas that can deliver new products, offers and services to both residential and business customers.
"Digital technology, particularly big data and the actionable insights provided by data analytics are influencing and accelerating change in many markets, including the energy market. Data science and analytics are core components of our long-term technology strategy," said Mike Young, Centrica's Group Chief Information Officer. "The acquisition of Rokitt Astra is an exciting and value-creating addition to our digital technological capability."
Centrica's innovation unit is already supporting the growth and commercialization of its proprietary data management solution through the formation of Io-Tahoe LLC, the big data management solution company with expertise in data science, analytics and systems architecture. Io-Tahoe LLC will leverage Centrica's in-house data management capability to external customers.
Upon completion, the members of the Rokitt Astra team will become employees of Io-Tahoe LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Centrica plc.
"Centrica Innovations will benefit from the substantial expertise in the area of data discovery offered by Rokitt's employees across the U.S., India and the Ukraine, where operations will continue," said Charles Cameron, Group Director of Technology, Engineering and Centrica Innovations. "We welcome the Rokitt Astra team to Io-Tahoe."
"We are truly excited about the opportunity we have to continue to grow our business and the new achievements on the horizon through the combination of Rokitt Astra and Io-Tahoe," said Oksana Sokolovsky and Rohit Mahajan, Rokitt Co-Founders.
For more information, please visit: www.centrica.com/innovation.
About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is one of North America's largest retail providers of electricity, natural gas, and home and business energy-related services with nearly five million customers. Direct Energy gives customers choice, simplicity, and innovation where energy, data, and technology meet. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 4 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit www.directenergy.com.
About Centrica plc
Centrica plc is an international energy and services company. Everything we do is focused on satisfying the changing needs of our customers. We supply energy and energy-related services to around 28 million customer accounts in the UK, Ireland and North America, through strong brands such as British Gas, Direct Energy and Bord Gáis Energy supported by around 12,000 engineers and technicians.
We are also developing new and innovative products and services for customers globally. Our Connected Home business has developed products such as the Hive smart thermostat and through our Distributed Energy & Power business we offer integrated energy solutions for commercial and industrial customers, including flexible generation, energy management systems, and battery storage.
We also have an Energy Marketing & Trading business which manages commodity risk and provides wholesale market access for the Group, as well as offering route to market services for third parties and undertaking optimisation and trading activity.
Centrica continues to be active in gas and oil Exploration & Production, focusing on the UK, Netherlands and Norway and targeting production of between 40-50mmboe per annum. In Central Power Generation, we own five gas-fired power stations in the UK and a 20% interest in EDF Energy's UK nuclear fleet. We also own the UK's largest gas storage facility, Rough. For more information visit: www.centrica.com.
Io-Tahoe LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centrica plc. Io-Tahoe is a big data management solution company with expertise in data science, analytics and systems architecture. The technology comprises four smart tools: Astra, Data tap, Fingerprinting and Concierge. For more information visit: www.io-tahoe.com.
About Rokitt Astra
Rokitt is a technology company focused on solving the challenges of 'DATA' with the product Rokitt Astra—automatically discovers & self-learns data relationships up to 90%+ accuracy through complex algorithms developed and embedded in it. For more information, visit: www.rokittastra.com.
1 Io-Tahoe® is a registered trademark of Centrica plc. Rokitt Astra™ is a trademark of Centrica plc.
2 Gartner, Inc. is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company.
SOURCE Direct Energy