After the Spac collapse, UK’s EV charging startup raises funds

EO accepts a lower valuation following the abandonment of a reverse merger agreement last year due to market slump

EO Charging, a British company that charges electric vehicles and works with Amazon, has reached an agreement to receive funding from investors, including those from the Middle East, at a less than the valuation it was expected to achieve under a Spac listing in New York.

After the collapse of the Spac-backed flotations market, EO had to abandon a $675mn proposal to merge with First Reserve Sustainable Growth.

However, the valuations of these tech-focused and fast-growing companies have fallen since last summer due to the wider slump in fundraising.

EO has signed an agreement for $80mn equity investment from Vortex Energy. Vortex Energy is a renewable energy investor backed both by Egypt’s sovereign institutional investors and Abu Dhabi family offices as well as Zouk Capital, an existing backer.

According to the group, the agreement would help accelerate its global expansion strategy and growth plans in order to be a major supplier of fleet charging for electric cars.

EO was founded in 2014 by Charlie Jardine, an entrepreneur. It provides charging infrastructure for electric vehicle, van, truck, and bus fleets.

Jardine stated that the money would be used by the British company to support its plans to expand its fleet charging business in North America, Europe and North America. “We are still in the beginning, and the industry itself is still in the beginning. We still have a lot of work to do.

Jardine declined to comment on the new valuation of EO after the fundraising but said that “You can see the market.”

Jardine stated that the US market was the most exciting for EO because the government promised $370bn to energy transition and green technologies as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

EO will use the subsidies offered by the government directly, he said.

EO in the UK was focused on the bus market and particularly in polluted cities centres. It also looked after the growing consumer market.

EO has distributed more than 80,000 chargers worldwide to consumers and businesses, including DHL, Uber, Tesco, and Amazon. It has delivered 5,000 chargers to 100 Amazon depots in Europe.

Vortex Energy’s chief executive officer Karim Moussa stated that “major investments in charging infrastructure are necessary to pave the path for a carbon neutral world.”

Zouk Capital led the round of fundraising. It has been working with EO for over a year. It is also responsible for managing the UK Treasury’s PS420mn Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, (CIIF).