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Electric Car-Charging Startup ChargePoint Raises $50 Million

May 4, 2016, 2:09 PM UTC
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: A ChargePoint electric vehicle charger is displayed during the Drive The Dream event at the Exploratorium on September 16, 2013 in San Francisco, California. California Gov. Jerry Brown met with California corporate leaders at Drive The Dream to discuss progress in the adoption of electric vehicles and workplace charging stations at businesses in the state. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

ChargePoint, a startup that has built out a network of public charging stations as well as a mobile app, has raised $50 million in new funding to help it expand infrastructure and into new countries as well as scale up its newer residential and fast-charging businesses.

Linse Capital, the investment firm founded by former Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Michael Linse, led the funding round. Braemar Energy Ventures and Constellation Energy, an electricity supplier owned by Exelon Corp., also participated. ChargePoint has raised $164 million to date from investors, including Rho Ventures, KPCB, BMW iVentures, and Siemens.

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When ChargePoint initially launched in 2007, it focused on building out a network of public charging stations, which today exceed 28,000 in North America. These so-called “around town” charging stations are independently owned. ChargePoint provides the cloud-based software so businesses can set prices as well as automate payment processing, reporting, and analytics.

But the goal, CEO Pasquale Romano told Fortune, was to be a complete charging provider. “We want to provide a comprehensive driver experience where you can stick with ChargePoint at home, at work, around town, and when you go out of town,” Romano says.

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In the past 15 months, the company has expanded into the home and long-distance travel by launching several new product lines. ChargePoint introduced a charging product designed for single-family homes in 2015. The home product has Wi-Fi built in, allowing users to monitor the unit from the ChargePoint app on the driver’s smartphone. The company also launched a fast-charger meant to serve drivers on longer trips along with charging services designed for apartments and condominiums.

It’s this last piece about which Romano is most excited. “About 30% to 40% of U.S. residents live in rental housing like apartments, townhouses, and condos, so it’s important to solve that problem so folks can drive electric vehicles,” Romano says. “We finally have cracked the code on apartments and condos in terms of cost structure and the service that makes property owners happy and drivers happy.”

ChargePoint has an option where the entire cost of the charging station is billed monthly as a service to the driver. Alternatively, the apartment building owner can pay for the charging station to lower that monthly bill for renters.

ChargePoint also has plans to move beyond North America, particularly into Europe and possibly even China, Romano told Fortune without providing a timeline for entering either market. The company is examining the best path to move into China, he says.