Business Startups Venture

Booster Raises $56M To Grow Its ‘Gas Station On Wheels’ Business

Booster, a San Mateo-based on-demand fuel delivery service, has raised $56 million in a Series C led by Invus Opportunities.

Strategic investors Enterprise Holdings Ventures and France’s Total Ventures also participated in the financing as did existing backers Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, Maveron, Conversion Capital, and Dallas-based Perot Jain LP.

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With the new funding, Booster has now raised a total of $88.5 million since its inception in late 2014.

I caught up with Booster CEO and co-founder Frank Mycroft on the phone yesterday and he told me the company plans to use the new capital in part to expand into new markets. It’s currently operating in over 20 cities including Dallas/Fort Worth, the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Next, Booster is eyeing the Pacific Northwest as well as the East Coast.

The company launched its mobile fuel service in 2015 and has since conducted over 2 million deliveries “to tens of thousands of customers,” according to Mycroft. The company delivers the fuel in purple mini fuel tankers, and its service is available 24-7.

“I came up with the idea after being at a gas station one day and realizing that I was not enjoying it and that pretty much, nobody enjoys this errand,” he told Crunchbase News. Part of Mycroft’s mission was to make the service “not just for the wealthy” but accessible to everyone.

“Our goal was to create an accessible, full-service gas station on wheels without charging much more than gas stations, by being comparable in price but greater in value,” he said. “So we set out to reinvent a century-old model with a technology platform that gets product to people more safely and sustainably.”

To that end, Booster says that by delivering gas on demand, it’s helping to reduce road congestion and CO2 emissions as well as protecting “community land and water from the negative effects of underground storage tanks.” The company claims that to date it has prevented the release of over 2.32 million pounds of carbon.

Booster has a large number of enterprise customers including Fortune 100 companies such as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. The company essentially pitches its service as a perk for employees at office parks and corporate campuses. It also partners with property owners with “lots of tenants,” according to Mycroft.

People can request a ‘boost’ at work via the company’s app, pin their car location, and get a full tank while they’re working. It also operates a fleet division, which has customers such as Stanley Steemer, Two Men and a Truck, Hardin Honda, and Traffic Management Inc. The fleet side of the company’s business is doing well, apparently, as Booster claims it grew 350 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, revenue as a whole has grown “200 to 300 percent” year-over-year. Other services include tire inflation and windshield wiper replacement.

“We are profitable in our established markets,” Mycroft said. “And now with our fleet business, (we) have the playbook for healthy profitable growth moving forward.”

Part of Booster’s success, Mycroft believes, is attributable to the fact that all of the company’s employees, including drivers, are full-time and own a stake in the company. (Employee headcount is pushing 180, which Mycroft estimates is about twice as much as it was one year ago.)

“Drivers are our front line,” he said. “We’re proud to have this model.”

Besides expanding into new markets, Booster plans to continue hiring and focusing on gas in the short term despite what Mycroft sees as an ability to be “fuel agnostic” in the future.

Bob Wetzel, vice president of corporate development for Enterprise Holdings, said in a statement that Booster’s offering addresses “a key operational and logistical challenge” for Enterprise by providing fuel for its vehicles at one of its large airport locations.

“The end result is a significant reduction in cost, plus an increase in our efficiency,” he added. “As a result, we identified the potential of delivering this kind of service on a larger scale nationwide.”

Inisde llustration: Li-Anne Dias

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