Erik Fairbairn, CEO and founder of POD Point
Ellen Forster

Tech City's POD Point to recharge funds with CrowdCube campaign

POD Point, the Tech City-based supplier of charging points for electric and hybrid vehicles in the UK, today have announced they are launching a new crowdfunding round with a targeted goal of £1.75m.

The firm plans to use the funds raised as growth capital and also to finance the initial rollout of its next generation public charging network, POD Point Open Charge.

The total will be raised from two distinct financial instruments, with £1.5m of the target coming from an equity investment dubbed ‘Electric Equity’ and the remainder from a £250k crowdfunded ‘Open Charge’ bond.

Both will be hosted on the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. POD Point continues to demonstrate leadership in how alternative finance can best be utilised to help expand one of the UK’s fastest growing tech companies.

POD Point plans to use the £1.5m equity finance raised to help fund ongoing expansion. Specifically by bolstering sales & marketing capability, developing chargepoint hardware and continuing to roll out new and upgraded software. In return for their cash investors will receive shares in the company and thus participate in the company’s success.

The £250k bond finance is being used to fund the initial roll out of the company’s new Open Charge network of public charge points. Open Charge makes electric vehicle charging more accessible through intuitive free-to-use web and mobile apps with Open Charge POD Points no longer requiring the use of RFID cards.

The bond will pay 8% per annum (paid quarterly) in interest and will return the original investment after 3 years.

POD Point has grown from £1.9, to £4.5 to £6.5m turnover in the last 2 years. It has shipped over 20,000 charge points and supplied over 10 million miles of electric motoring. This rapid growth has earned the company a spot in the 2015 Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list of the UK’s fastest growing tech companies.

Erik Fairbairn, CEO and founder of POD Point said: “We’re incredibly excited to be launching these two campaigns. We’ve always looked to do things a bit differently at POD Point and giving the public and those concerned about the environment a stake in the future of the electric vehicle market in the UK seemed the right way to go.:

“We’re keen to press on with our mission of providing facilities for electric vehicle charging everywhere the public stops for an hour or more. This new funding will bring that idea closer to being a reality.”

POD Point has used crowdfunding to successfully raise capital previously. In 2014 the firm raised £1.5m in what was, at the time, the second largest private company equity fund raise in the UK.

This funding allowed the development and launch of POD Point Open Charge and the business’ @Work solution which are made up of next generation hardware and software. It also helped scale turnover from £4.5m to £6.5m and post a net profit for the year.

Fairbairn sees crowdfunding as a superior alternative to venture capital funding. he commented: “Venture Capital normally carries a significant amount of contractual baggage and doesn’t have anywhere near the level of upside associated with having hundreds of brand advocates which you only get with a crowdfunding round,

“It’s hard to see how traditional venture capital remains relevant in the crowdfunding world. We’ve seen crowdfunding initially replace friends,family and early stage funding rounds but now, headed by companies like POD Point, it’s beginning to move into the growth equity phase as well.”

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