Volta Closes $35M Series C Funding Round for Free EV Charging
Volta Charging announced the closing of a US$35 million Series C Funding Round. The round, designed to accelerate the rapid expansion of Volta's Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and media network, is led by the Invenergy Future Fund, with both the Invenergy Future Fund and Activate Capital assuming Series C Board seats.
This round of funding is Volta's largest yet. Participants in Volta's Series C round include new, as well as returning, investors from the US and Europe. GE Ventures, Orsted Venture, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Idinvest all join as new investors. Virgo Investment Group and Autotech Ventures, among others, also each increased the size of their previous investments, bringing the total now raised by Volta to more than US$60 million since the Company's founding in 2010.
Volta has developed the country's most utilized electric vehicle charging network. By installing chargers in high-traffic locations in top media markets and partnering with advertisers to sponsor the service, Volta EV chargers are available to both drivers and real estate hosts without cost.
With over 1,000 faces available for sponsorship opportunities across 500 stations today, Volta plans to double its network footprint by the end of 2018 by adding more stations and opening new markets. The capital investment will also allow Volta to respond to the increasing demand of real estate owners who are looking ways to monetize their assets and increase consumer dwell time.
By year's end, Volta anticipates that its network will operate nationwide in nearly all of the top 10 media markets, in addition to its initial launch market, Hawaii.
Volta helps brands meet and exceed their financial targets, as well their corporate social responsibility goals. Sponsorship of amenities, such as Volta's charging networks, brings greater lift over traditional out of home media both in reputation and purchase intent. Volta also works closely with municipalities and industry groups with a stated commitment to emissions reduction. To date, brand and site sponsored stations have delivered over 22 million free electric miles, saving over 9 million pounds of CO2.
"This esteemed group of investors, who share our vision, are each focused on advancing energy, transportation, technology or media platforms worldwide and we are excited to benefit from these relationships as we continue to advance mobility infrastructure worldwide," said Scott Mercer, CEO, Volta Charging.
"With this influx of capital, we will be immediately able to respond to the respective demand from advertisers, EV drivers, and landlords as we add meaningful value to communities nationwide," Mercer continued.
"We gained confidence in the Volta team through their focus on execution, and applaud their insight to bring the media industry to bear to create a mobility infrastructure solution. Volta distills the surrounding complexity and accelerates the market by executing on consumer preferences that won't change: free charging in premier convenient locations," said John Tough, partner at the Invenergy Future Fund.
"We look forward to partnering with the broader investor group to help Volta meet what has become unabating demand for its differentiated and scalable model that brings real value to all stakeholders," added Tough.
"Volta brings us an opportunity to elegantly advance the intersection of two of our most important sectors - energy and transportation," said Anup Jacob, Managing Director, Activate Capital. "By leveraging sponsorship to underwrite free charging and infrastructure, Volta has created a unique model to accelerate the future of mobility."
"Since we invest exclusively in transportation technology, we spend a lot of time researching electric vehicle charging technology," said Autotech Ventures Managing Director, Dr. Alexei Andreev. "Out of all of the EV charging network startups we have seen, Volta has the most elegant business model which decouples EV adoption and revenue generation.
"Instead of selling electrons to EV owners, Volta sells advertising space and marketing analytics to media customers. We're excited to welcome and participate alongside the new round of incoming investors that will help Volta rapidly grow its footprint across the US," observed Dr. Andreev.
"We are excited about the opportunities presented by Volta's advertising-funded mobility solution. We look forward to working with Volta and support their vision to connect consumers, brands and communities," said Victor Westerlind, Managing Director at GE Ventures.
"Virgo was excited to lead the Company's prior debt and equity raises, which enabled the Company to prove the power of its business model over the past two years. We welcome our new partners and look forward to collaborating with Volta to further talent and product development. Volta is well poised to increase both the scale and scope of its innovative business," said Eli Aheto, Partner, Virgo Investment Group.
"Governments, municipalities, and of course, the automotive industry itself, are all dedicating significant resources to the future of mobility," added Mercer. "Our Series C will also allow us to focus on both growth and leading-edge product development to meet and exceed the needs of this dynamic environment."