Xeal, an electric vehicle charging start-up, has bagged $40 million in funding as it prepares to expand in the US.
New York-based Xeal links up with real estate firms and property developers to install its EV charging units and software at apartment buildings and office blocks.
The Series B round was led by Keyframe Capital with participation from ArcTern Ventures, Moderne Ventures, clean tech investor Ramez Naam, Nexus Labs, Wind Ventures and Alpaca VC. The company has also raised a $10 million credit line from Bridge Bank.
Xeal has partnerships with the likes of UBS, Friedman Realty Group and Stoneweg to install charging points in their buildings, which the company describes as the “gas stations of the future”.
“When we closed the Series A about a year ago the plan was to launch technologies that makes clean energy work anywhere for anyone and part of that was working with real estate owners and developers that control the keys to the future,” chief executive Alexander Isaacson said.
Xeal has developed a platform called Apollo, which is built on distributed ledger technology, to operate its EV charging stations and its accompanying software for drivers that use them.
Isaacson said there is a recurring problem among EV charging companies where the technology is connected to a central server, creating a single point of failure when there is downtime.
“When we first launched the technology in 2019, we deployed it in apartments and workplaces and that’s when all hell broke loose,” he said of the initial version of the technology that Xeal used.
The company was fielding hundreds of complaints from users: “Everyone pointed back to a single point of failure dependent on a central server.”
The patent-pending Apollo harnesses the power of each user’s smartphone – “the mobile data center in their pocket” – on the system rather through a central server.
Xeal generates revenue through multiple channels. It charges property owners for the installation of the chargers with a subscription for access to the management software.
“On the driver side, the driver simply just taps to pay, like Apple Pay, and we make a revenue share with the building owner where they make the majority of the revenue that the driver pays and we make small portion off that as well,” Isaacson said.
The new funds will be invested in further development of the technology, including expansion of the company’s new engineering lab in Venice, California.
“Another portion of the funding will be used to grow our partnerships. That involves bringing on more real estate champions to be part of our community.”
The company also plans to develop a reseller program and expects to have a network of 10,000 chargers by the end of the year.
Isaacson said the company wants to expand its presence across the country, particularly in regions where electric vehicles have yet to take off at a significant scale.
He said taking this plunge is necessary to solve the chicken-and-egg problem in electric vehicle uptake and charger availability.
“Clean tech companies in general have always gone to places they’re welcomed. It oversaturates key markets instead of empowering new markets. If we don’t have charging stations in areas where there’s no EV drivers then there’ll never be EV drivers. It’s the chicken and the egg.”
Isaacson added that he is hopeful the new federal tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act will stimulate EV growth and consumer confidence.