HeyCharge, the German startup democratizing access to electric vehicle (EV) charging, has raised US$4.7m in venture capital investment.
The seed funding round is led by BMW i Ventures, the venture capital arm of BMW Group. Other investors also participating in the round include Statkraft Ventures, the venture capital arm of Statkraft, Europe’s largest renewable energy generator. BMW i Ventures was an early investor in Chargepoint (NYSE: CHPT), as well as Chargemaster, so it has a strong track record in the EV space. In addition, HeyCharge was in Y Combinator’s Summer 2021 batch of startups.
Revolutionizing the EV charging industry
HeyCharge provides the world’s first truly affordable, scalable, and accessible EV charging solution for apartment buildings, offices, hotels and further infrastructure. While 80% of all EV charging activity will happen in these semi-private environments, the current reliance of traditional smart charging infrastructure on an internet connection, as well as a long and expensive setup process of each charging station, is holding scalability back.
HeyCharge’s patent-pending technology, SecureCharge, revolutionizes the EV charging industry by eliminating the need for an on-site internet connection, allowing the app and chargers to communicate directly over Bluetooth instead. As a result, drivers will no longer be stranded by poor internet connectivity; they can park, charge and go.
When combined with the company’s plug and play hardware, Access Point, set-up is fast, easy and affordable. As a result, HeyCharge can reduce total lifetime costs by up to 80% in buildings, with the benefits then passed on to the drivers themselves, making EV charging possible wherever you live or work.
Investment into hardware
This US$4.7m investment will enable HeyCharge to significantly scale the product through hardware development so it can be rolled out to multiple markets on a global scale. As well as targeting consumers, HeyCharge will also work with businesses to embed its technology into new or existing solutions to open up wider possibilities for EV charging to their customer bases.
Chris Carde, CEO of HeyCharge, said, “with 40% of Europeans and 37% of US renters living in apartment buildings, there is a large section of the population for whom going electric is too difficult because they can’t charge at home. Availability and access to charging stations, reliable wi-fi connections and cost pose real barriers to installation in these buildings. HeyCharge’s solution makes EV charging not just scalable but also more cost-effective and accessible so that you can EV charge wherever you live or work.”
“We are thrilled to be working with BMW i Ventures in this round and look forward to using this investment to scale our product globally and bring low-cost charging options to consumers.”– Chris Carde, CEO of HeyCharge
Kasper Sage, Managing Partner, BMW i Ventures, added, “the rapid growth of the electric vehicle market in coming years will necessitate greater infrastructure build-out of charging solutions around the globe.” HeyCharge is the first company to enable EV charging without an internet connection, which is a key enabler to cover untapped white spots. “With HeyCharge’s technology, it becomes attractive to install chargers in locations that before would not have been commercially viable,” said Sage.
HeyCharge was founded by Chris Carde and Dr Robert Lasowski in March 2020, at the beginning of the global pandemic. With backgrounds in EVs and mobility dating back to 2001, Chris and Robert have worked for a series of tech and automotive brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Google, BMW and SIXT. Their expertise and experience in this sector means they are well placed to drive the rollout and democratization of EV charging stations across the globe.
HeyCharge is a company making electric vehicle charging ubiquitous and affordable, starting with retrofitting apartment buildings across Europe. Founded in 2020, HeyCharge’s patent-pending SecureCharge technology maximizes user satisfaction and optimizes unit economics for customers and partners by removing the need for an on-site internet connection.
The HeyCharge team is a unique international blend, with a founding team that is 50% American and 50% German, along with engineers based in Kyiv, Ukraine. The company is backed by BMW i Ventures and startup accelerator Y Combinator.
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About BMW i Ventures
BMW i Ventures is BMW’s venture capital firm, investing money and resources in startups in the fields of Transportation, Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Sustainability. The firm has made many successful investments over the years in companies such as Bright Machines, Blackmore, Chargepoint, Graphcore, Motorway, Urgent.ly, Proterra, PureCycle, Solid Power, Tekion, Turntide, Xometry and many more. BMW i Ventures invests in all stages from seed to growth with a focus on Series A/B.