It’s not often that you see a $300 million+ Series B round that is entirely in equity. And yet, Paris-based startup Electra just raised a $330 million (€304 million) Series B round.
Electra is an electric vehicle charging company building a network of charging stations in France and other European countries. Right now, the company has 172 active charging stations (with several charging points per station) and is in the process of rolling out another 105 stations.
Those 172 charging stations represent nearly 1,000 charging points. You can usually find them in supermarket parking lots, in front of hotels or at highway rest areas. The company has also partnered with Toulouse’s airport to build some charging stations there.
What makes Electra stand out from other EV charging networks is that it focuses exclusively on fast-charging stations. It also develops its software stack in house so that the company’s app works well with the company’s charging stations.
And this unlocks some interesting features. For instance, Electra knows the status of its charging stations in real time. Customers can know for sure that there’s an available spot when they’re driving toward a charging station.
In addition to that, customers can reserve a charging point in advance if there are just a handful of charging points available. Electra charges from €0.39 per kWh to €0.52 per kWh in France, depending on the charging speed that you request.
As you might expect, building an EV charging network is expensive. And this new funding round will be used to deploy more charging stations. Electra believes that it can roll out 15,000 charging points across 2,200 stations by 2030.
PGGM, a Dutch pension fund service provider, as well as Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund are leading the funding round. Existing investors Eurazeo, RIVE Private Investment, the SNCF group through 574 Invest and Serena are participating once again.
And as a reminder, Electra also previously raised money from EIP in Switzerland, RATP Capital Innovation, CDC’s Banque des Territoires, Ademe Investissement, Eiffel Investment Group, RGreen Invest, Frst, Allianz, Groupe Chopard and Altarea. Overall, there are quite a few big infrastructure players or public financial institutions on Electra’s cap table.
Electra competes with Ionity, another European EV charging startup based in Germany that raised a €700 million round a couple of years ago. There are other EV charging pure players around the world, such as EVPassport in North America, which recently raised $200 million.
While these companies are infrastructure plays, it’s interesting that they’re raising equity rounds. Usually, startups with huge capital requirements try to secure a credit line with a financial partner to kickstart the projects. But in the EV charging world, it sounds like infrastructure funds want a financial stake in these companies.