Chargemaster – An Electrifying Exit
In July 2018, an early stage business called ‘Chargemaster’ which was crowdfunded via the ‘Envestors’ platform over the previous 8 years, was sold to BP for £128.9m, representing a gain for investors of £42.7m on their original investment of £15.3m.
David Martell, the CEO of Chargemaster, first approached the crowdfunding platform Envestors in 2010 to seek help with his first round of founding for his new startup.
With David’s track record – he founded TRAFFICMASTER in 1989, valued at £500m when floated on the Stock Exchange in 1994 – and an exceptionally strong management team, the potential for Chargemaster to become a big success was instantly recognisable. The team at Envestors was pleased to help guide Chargemaster through the funding process: the preparation, promotion, deal negotiations, further funding rounds and investor relations.
The Envestors network of over 3,000 sophisticated investors understood the value of Chargemaster’s substantial pedigree and, with the foresight to appreciate that a solid and sustainable infrastructure would be vital to the burgeoning electric vehicle economy, the platform raised an initial sum of £1.8m from 25 of its private investor members at an initial valuation of £4.5m.
After the success of this first round, and with the business making solid progress, David returned to Envestors in 2011 for a further round. This was even more of a triumph, raising just under £4m.
As the business grew and matured, it inevitably needed another cash injection and Envestors therefore introduced David to the Swiss based fund Helium Rising Stars, who invested £4m and the London based VCT, Beringea, who invested a further £5.7m in funding.
In total, Envestors helped Chargemaster to raise over £15.3m in equity investment.
Chargemaster has since grown to become the UK’s biggest name in electric vehicle charging, trusted by thousands of owners, businesses and councils. It designs, builds, sells and maintains over 6,500 charging points in partnership with all leading electric vehicle manufacturers.
In July 2018, Chargemaster was bought by the global oil and gas giant BP for £128.9m. This sale represented a gain of £42.7m on the investors £15.3m original investments, a huge return in anyone’s books.
David Martell, CEO of Chargemaster said, “We are incredibly appreciative of all of our investors and the vital support we received from Envestors in the early days. The creation of BP Chargemaster is great news for electric vehicle drivers, as it will deliver significant investment in the further deployment of EV infrastructure across the country, with a focus on ultra-fast rapid chargers. BP’s 1,200 retail locations represent a fantastic opportunity to expand Chargemaster’s existing network of more than 6,500 charging points in the UK.
This most successful exit could not have happened without Envestors and their network of angel investors. I am delighted that they can now successfully realise their investment”.
The acquisition by the British oil giant BP is an assured demonstration that the motor industry is shifting towards lower carbon sources, driven by advances in technology and growing concerns about climate change.
Scott Haughton, COO of Envestors said, “We are delighted to have introduced more than £15m and to have been part of this incredible journey and to see over 50 of our sophisticated investors and two of our early stage funds realise a very significant return totalling £46.2m.
This is a brilliant success story and exactly why we founded Envestors. We realised, as entrepreneurs, how difficult it can be to raise investment on one’s own, no matter how strong a business model may be. Through our years of combined experience, we know that the strength of the management team is a crucial factor in a start up’s success. David’s exceptional track record and achievements with Trafficmaster highlighted this perfectly.”
Craig Lewis, a member of the Envestors private network said, “Finding and accessing credible unlisted investment opportunities is half the battle; execution and monetisation is the other half. Envestors delivered on the first half and the management team and staff at Chargemaster delivered on the rest. The communication from Chargemaster from investment to realisation was excellent. I’m personally delighted with the impressive financial returns generated, and I’m always open to Envestors’ introductions’.
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