EO Charging, a British electric vehicle charging company that works with companies such as Amazon, has agreed funding from investors including from the Middle East at a lower valuation than targeted under a failed Spac listing in New York.
EO was last year forced to walk away from a proposed $675mn deal to combine with First Reserve Sustainable Growth, a New York-listed special purpose acquisition company, after the market for Spac-backed flotations collapsed.
However, valuations for such tech-focused, fast-growth companies since last summer have dropped, given the wider slump in the fundraising market.
EO has agreed $80mn in equity investment from Vortex Energy, a renewable energy investor backed by Egypt’s EFG Hermes and Abu Dhabi sovereign institutional investors and family offices, as well as from Zouk Capital, an existing backer of the business.
The group told the Financial Times that the deal would accelerate its growth plans and global expansion strategy to become a leading supplier of fleet charging for electric vehicles.
Founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Charlie Jardine, EO provides charging infrastructure for electric car, van, truck and bus fleets.
Jardine said the money would be used to back the British company’s plans to expand its fleet-charging business in North America and Europe. “We are still at the start, and the industry is still at the start. There is a long way to go.”
Jardine refused to comment on the new valuation for EO following the fundraising, but added: “You can see what is happening in the market.”
The US market, where the government has promised $370bn for energy transition and green technologies under the Inflation Reduction Act, was “the most exciting” for EO, Jardine said.
EO will try to use the subsidies being offered by the government directly and work with customers to take advantage of the money, he added.
In the UK, EO was focused on the bus market, and especially in highly polluted city centres, as well as the growing consumer market.
EO has deployed more than 80,000 chargers to businesses and consumers around the world, including Amazon, DHL, Uber and Tesco. In Europe, it has supplied 5,000 chargers to 100 depots for Amazon.
Karim Moussa, chief executive of Vortex Energy, said: “Major investments in charging infrastructure are needed to pave the way for a carbon-neutral world.”
The round of fundraising was led by Zouk Capital, which has been working with EO since 2018. It also manages the UK Treasury’s £420mn Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF).