Chargemaster: An Electrifying Exit

The ENVESTORS portfolio company, CHARGEMASTER, has been acquired by BP for £128.9m.

Having introduced £15.3m of equity between 2010-2018, this represents a return of £42,686,301 for 50 members of the ENVESTORS private network and two introduced Funds.
CHARGEMASTER, who are the operator of the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network and the leading supplier of EV charging infrastructure, worked with ENVESTORS over an eight-year period to secure several rounds of funding to drive their growth, leading to their acquisition by the global oil and gas giant, BP— a hugely successful exit.
CHARGEMASTER CEO David Martell first approached ENVESTORS in 2010. As an early stage business, David needed help with the first round of funding. 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, their potential for huge success was instantly recognisable.  As with all ENVESTORS’ portfolio companies, we guided CHARGEMASTER through the funding process: the preparation, promotion, deal negotiations, further funding rounds and investor relations.
Our network of over 3,000 sophisticated investors understood the value of this substantial pedigree and, with the foresight to appreciate that a solid and sustainable infrastructure would be vital to the burgeoning electric vehicle economy, we raised an initial sum of £1.8m from 25 of our 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; this later round was even more of a triumph, raising just under £4m.
As the business grew and matured, it inevitably needed another cash injection and we 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. ‘We are incredibly appreciative of all of our investors and the vital support we received from ENVESTORS in the early days,’ says David. ‘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 sophisticated angels.  I am delighted that they can now successfully realise their investment’.
CHARGEMASTER has since grown to become the UK’s biggest name in electric vehicle charging, trusted by thousands of owners, businesses and councils.  They design, build, sell and maintain over 6,500 charging points in partnership with all leading electric vehicle manufacturers.
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.
‘We are delighted to have introduced a total of £15.3m and to have been part of this incredible journey’, says Scott Haughton, COO of ENVESTORS.  ‘We are so pleased that over 50 of our sophisticated investors and two of our early stage funds have realised a very significant return, totalling £46.2m.  We would like to thank them for their far-sighted vision and support and will look to share a glass in celebration in the coming weeks.  It’s 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.  All of us at ENVESTORS wish David, and the whole CHARGEMASTER team, our warmest congratulations’.
Craig Lewis, a member of the ENVESTORS private network, was equally pleased to hear the news. ‘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 proactive communication from CHARGEMASTER from investment to realisation has been excellent. I’m personally delighted with the impressive financial returns generated, and I’m always open to ENVESTORS’ introductions’.
An electrifying day of celebration for all concerned.
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