LBO France has committed EUR5 million in a Series B financing round to ZEPLUG, which installs charging points for electric and hybrid vehicles in co-owned buildings and companies.
The money raised will help ZEPLUG to seep up its development in its markets
This investment marks the launch of Newstone, the first fund dedicated to the French Proptech, led by a team of seasoned real estate professionals that will leverage their industry expertise to support fifteen startups.
LBO France announces the first investment of its NewStone fund in the French startup ZEPLUG (Series B). ZEPLUG was founded in 2014 by Frédéric Renaudeau, who used a cable-operator model to provide a range of electric and hybrid vehicle charging equipment for co-owned buildings and companies.
ZEPLUG’s solution, leader in its market, provides charging points in residential buildings at no charge to the building’s co-owners and with no management burden on the managing agent. It is done by running a power supply, separate from that for the common areas, solely dedicated to recharging e-vehicles. The final user only pays for the installation of a charging point in its parking space, plus a flat-rate all-inclusive monthly fee (covering access, electricity consumption, maintenance). The ZEPLUG solution includes a 100 per cent renewable energy supply and the energy management of recharging.
ZEPLUG also offers a tailor-made solution for companies, which provides on-site or at-home recharging for employees to meet the aims of “greening” auto fleets.
ZEPLUG, with around 50 employees, is a key player in the condominium recharging sector. It has nearly 1,000 active points in its installed base of more than 500 co-owned buildings. The solution has also been approved by more than 2,000 co-owned buildings with another 3,000 still seeking approval. Development has been greatly helped by close partnerships with 17 automotive manufacturers, an expert network of recharging infrastructure installers, top-name suppliers and an experienced management team.
Since its first fundraising in 2018, ZEPLUG has introduced a financing solution for recharging infrastructure. This latest EUR5 million round should allow ZEPLUG to continue its expansion in co-owned buildings and bolster its position in the corporate market.
“In a world ever more aware of the new challenges of today, value creation cannot ignore the future of humanity and its environment. We are proud of this first investment, right in the core strategy of our new fund NewStone and its objectives of sustainable development. Electric and hybrid vehicles are set to make up more than half of all vehicle sales by 2030. ZEPLUG, which plans to support this fast-growing market, is positioned as a pioneer in e-vehicle recharging equipment. Its B2B and B2C business model, supported by strategic partnerships with the biggest automotive manufacturers, is highly promising,” says Stéphanie Casciola, Partner and Head of Real Estate at LBO France.
“We are delighted to have LBO France’s support in this rapid-growth phase, helped by government measures to support e-mobility. Adoption of e-vehicles is growing exponentially – they had 10 per cent of the market in October 2020 – and the rollout of charging points in co-owned buildings and companies is a key issue. LBO France has expertise in real estate and in backing successful companies, making it an ideal partner for ZEPLUG,” says Frédéric Renaudeau, Founding Chairman of ZEPLUG.
A dedicated French Proptech fund with a strong social and environmental footprint
LBO France, operating in the real estate sector since 2003, has decided to also focus on “PropTech” – the startups that are revolutionising the sector with their innovative products and value-added business models. NewStone will invest in a portfolio of around fifteen startups in France, operating in the various market verticals of such universe. The FPCI NewStone will integrate a strong environmental and societal approach including the monitoring of pre-identified sustainable development objectives alongside with a specific methodology consistent with the ESG policy of LBO France.
“LBO France’s real estate teams have a strong sector and operational expertise in the industry. As a result, it was a natural decision to launch this new promising fund and back these startups as they develop. Our ambition is to inject some innovation into a real estate sector long stuck in its ways and to give substance to the new thinking of real entrepreneurs,” says Stéphanie Casciola.