Volta Charging Fuels Up With A $35M Series C

Volta Charging has closed on a $35 million Series C funding round in its largest raise to date.

The San Francisco company, which has developed an electric vehicle charging network, has brought in a total of $60 million in venture capital since it was founded in 2010. Instead of selling electrons to EV owners, Volta sells advertising space and marketing analytics to media customers. The company also works with municipalities and industry groups to reduce emissions.

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Invenergy Future Fund led the company’s latest round, which also included participation from Activate CapitalGE Ventures, Orsted Venture, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Idinvest. Existing investors Virgo Investment Group and Autotech Ventures also increased the size of their previous investments.

Volta plans to use its new capital toward market and site expansion, product development, and hiring, according to Chris Wendel, president of Volta Charging. The startup currently has more than 40 employees, which is up 50 percent compared to last year. Its 2017 revenue was up three times compared to the year prior and 2018 is so far on target to be at least three times that of 2017, according to Wendel.

Christopher Wendel

Volta is able to offer its EV chargers to drivers and real estate hosts at no costs by installing chargers in high-traffic locations in what it describes as “top media markets” and partnering with advertisers to sponsor the service.

Volta currently operates citywide EV charging networks in more than 50 municipalities in markets such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Phoenix, Portland, Hawaii and Seattle . The company plans to double its network footprint by year’s end by adding more stations and opening new markets. Volta said is increasingly receiving requests from real estate owners for its charging stations. Specifically, the company anticipates that it will expand its network to markets such as Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and New York City.

Autotech Ventures Managing Director Alexei Andreev said that Volta’s business model is the most elegant of the EV charging network startups his firm has seen. And John Tough, partner at the Invenergy Future Fund, applauds the startup’s “insight to bring the media industry to bear to create a mobility infrastructure solution.”

Anup Jacob, managing director of Activate Capital, added that Volta offers “an opportunity to elegantly advance the intersection of two of our most important sectors—energy and transportation.”

“By leveraging sponsorship to underwrite free charging and infrastructure,” Jacob said in a statement, “Volta has created a unique model to accelerate the future of mobility.”

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