ChargePoint Acquires Has To Be for $296M

August 11, 2021 by Shannon Cuthrell

ChargePoint is acquiring an Austrian EV charging startup has·to·be in a $296 million deal to expand its European market presence.

California-based ChargePoint, the U.S.’s leading electric vehicle charging station provider, is planning to boost its European presence with the acquisition of Austrian charging startup has·to·be.

The transaction, valued at 250 million euros (or about $296.8 million USD), is slated to close later this year. has·to·be’s employees, customers, and EV charging products will be added to ChargePoint’s operations as the company pursues more growth outside of its North American home market.

Founded in 2013, has·to·be started with a small network of over 400 charging stations as a part of the E-WALD charging infrastructure project in Bavaria, Germany. With Volkswagen as a key investor and stakeholder, it quickly expanded to add over 100 employees in Germany and Austria, 40,000 managed charging points, and 250,000 roaming charging points, with more than 1,000 customers and projects in 45-plus countries. It also has 4,700 ports included in ChargePoint’s network.

In a blog post, ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano wrote that has·to·be’s software platform “addresses the complexity associated with the fragmented e-mobility landscape in Europe, including compatibility with all the widely deployed hardware brands and e-mobility services there.”

Romano also said has·to·be’s subscription-based charging network model is “well-matched” to ChargePoint’s business, and he plans to preserve and expand both parties’ existing customer relationships. 

“Our solutions can come together to continue to address the fragmented e-mobility market in Europe and eliminate the need for customers to integrate and support their own software, creating a better experience for drivers and businesses alike,” Romano wrote.

ChargePoint claims a 70% share of the market for standard level 2 chargers, with over 100,000 ports across the nation and operations spanning 16 European markets. The company’s current European presence includes 160 employees, 4,700 ports on its network, and 175,000 ports accessible through roaming partnerships.

A snapshot of ChargePoint’s nationwide network of EV charging stations. Image courtesy of ChargePoint

2021 has been a milestone year for the 15-year-old company. In March, it went public through a special purpose acquisition company (or SPAC) merger with Switchback Energy Acquisition Corporation—making it the first EV charging network of its kind to debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

It recently closed its first quarter of 2022 with $40.5 million in revenue, a 24% jump from the first quarter of last year. Revenue from its networked charging segment topped $26.8 million, a 36% year-on-year increase. It also touted a record number of new customers, bringing the total to over 5,000.

In June, ChargePoint unveiled its expansion into the fleet market, introducing a new fleet management software platform and set of services for its AC and DC fast-charging solutions.

The has·to·be acquisition comes as ChargePoint is expected to get a fresh dose of competition from rivals. Tesla, the U.S.’s second-largest charging network behind ChargePoint, is reportedly planning to expand its 25,000-point charging network to other EV brands this year. Another rising player, Electrify America, recently announced plans to more than double its charging stations by 2025. EVgo, which went public through a SPAC deal last month, recently acquired EV software and industry data company Recargo and started serving General Motors’ EV fleet customers.