Learn More About Us
UrbanChain aims to make renewable energy affordable for all through our innovative, market-leading, peer-to-peer exchange. We enable renewable generators and consumers to exchange energy seamlessly.
How We Started
The company was started in 2016 when our three founders finished their PhD studies at the University of Manchester. The idea came from the CEO, Dr. Taheri's post-doc research on fuel poverty and how it can be tackled in the UK. She learned that the key to solving this problem lies in the broken cycle of the energy supply chain. Using data science, AI, and blockchain, she began to develop an innovative peer-to-peer exchange system to enable the energy supply chain to work more efficiently.
Dr. Taheri was joined by Dr. Hajhashem, an entrepreneur and alumni of the Manchester Business School, and Dr. Naureen, a highly talented PhD graduate of the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester. The core of the company had been established.
Growth soon followed, more talent was hired and UrbanChain began to win awards. These include a Natwest Disruptor of the Year award, Tech Nation Rising Stars award, and back-to-back Innovate UK awards in 2019 and 2020. The company has also been collaborating with Ofgem Innovation Link and BEIS to ensure all regulatory processes are complied with.
Today, UrbanChain is proud to serve many renewable generators from micro to large, bringing renewables to the mainstream while helping consumers meet their NetZero targets with massive savings. There are many ongoing projects and plans for the future of energy markets that the company is developing with partners in the United States, Europe, and Japan.
- To make renewables viable without government subsidies.
- To make energy decarbonised, digitalised, and decentralised.
- To enable consumers to achieve their NetZero targets while making huge savings.
- To bring transparency and traceability to the energy supply chain.
- To tackle fuel poverty in the UK.
Meet The Team
Independent Chairman, Ex-executive at NextEnergy Capital, CEO of WiseEnergy, MD of NextEnergy Solar Fund and, currently, Trustee at NextEnergy Foundation.
DR SOMAYEH TAHERI
PhD in Planning & Data Science, expert in blockchain, data science, spatial analysis for urban infrastructure networks and urban resilience.
Previously, Director of Research and Technology and President of Civil Nuclear at Rolls-Royce, CEO of the Energy Research Accelerator at BEIS.
Blockchain Sales Leader, Europe, at IBM. Collaborating with UrbanChain on scaling its blockchain solution at the national and multi-national scales.
DR GRAHAM OAKES
Founder at Upside Energy. An innovative systems engineer with 35 years experience working with well-known organisations to develop high tech products.
DR MO HAJHASHEM
PhD in Innovation & Management, expert in commercialisation of disruptive technologies in complex networks, sales and strategic marketing.
CAROLINA CANOSA CRIADO
HEAD OF ORIGINATIOn
MBA, MSc in Finance & 20+ years experience in the energy sector including 7 years at Shell Energy International. An expert in origination, business development & more.
DR AYESHA NAUREEN
PhD in Computer Science, expert in blockchain, information security, cyber security, cryptography, Hyperledger, software development.
5+ years experience in pricing development for various premises, developing new products, risk management, and supporting innovation with LEAN process.
PhD researcher in Computer Science, focusing on the development of machine learning systems, data management, and automation of various processes.
Read through UrbanChain's journey so far.
As part of our role in academia, we were involved in a number of projects looking at fuel poverty and energy policies. We measured not only their direct impact on economy, but also their rebound effect on healthcare and education systems. The moment we understood 43k people die due to cold homes every year, we aimed to put an end to energy poverty.
The three founders came together with their skills in market design, system development, and commercialisation of innovation. Initial talks with Ofgem Innovation Link were held and research began on how to automate business processes using blockchain and AI technologies.
Our first two products went into development; eChain and AI4FP. The initial attempt to secure funding was unsuccessful, however, this made the founders even more determined and new solutions were found to improve the business operation. It became clear that further innovations would be required.
The first versions of our product were now ready and testing began using industry data. Our AI4FP product reached 80% consumption prediction accuracy, and the eChain system was able to offer unit rates as low as 10.5p/kWh to potential consumers. By the end of 2018, we had won a total of 14 awards, including those given to us by Innovate UK, Venture Further, Natwest, VentureFest, and Tech Incubator. These all helped to cover our initial costs.
The directors began to invest in the business when it became clear that there was an international market opportunity for our products. The Australian energy marker expressed interest in the project and funded market research. At the same time, our first major client was landed in the form of a Scottish council.
A grant from Innovate UK to fully commercialise the eChain product was obtained and ongoing communications with Ofgem Innovation Link resulted in the product potentially becoming a 'B-Supplier'. Real-world trials of the products began in the North West and South East and a large number of consumers registered their interest in the platform.
We became a team of six with new additions to the company and our status changed to an industry disruptor. The eChain product was used to create the first Local Energy Market, and this was tested in partnership with Ofgem.
Our eChain product became fully commercialised and we made it available in different areas of the UK. Our first energy-intensive commercial customers started to see huge savings on their energy spend while being supplied by renewable generation.