ChargePoint to buy European charging software startup for $295M

ChargePoint struck a deal to buy European charging software company has·to·be for €250 million ($295 million) in cash and stock, the electric vehicle charging network’s first acquisition since it became a publicly traded company.

Through the deal, ChargePoint gains more than just 125 employees and the company’s operating software, which manages more than 40,000 networked ports in Europe. The acquisition will give ChargePoint a boost in its pursuit to gain market share beyond North America, as well as VW Group as a strategic partner.

VW Group was an early investor in has·to·be, which was founded in 2013, and will continue a relationship with ChargePoint along with other customers of the software company, such as Ionity, Audi, Porsche, BP, Total, Lidl and GP Joule. ChargePopint will also add to its operations has·to·be offices in Munich, Salzburg and Vienna. 

ChargePoint designs, develops and manufactures hardware and accompanying software, as well as a cloud subscription platform, for electric vehicles. The company might be best-known for its branded public and semi-public charging spots that consumers use to charge their personal electric cars and SUVs, as well as its home chargers. However, ChargePoint also has a commercial-focused business that provides hardware and software to help fleet operators manage their delivery vans, buses and cars.

In all, the company has more than 115,000 charging spots globally. ChargePoint also offers access to an additional 133,000 public places to charge through network roaming integrations across North America and Europe.

“Our continued investment in Europe is critical to our stated growth strategy,” ChargePoint president and CEO Pasquale Romano said in a statement, later adding that the companies’ combined assets “should position us to accelerate our leadership as electrification continues to take hold across continents.”

ChargePoint agreed in September to merge with special-purpose acquisition company Switchback Energy Acquisition Corporation, with a market valuation of $2.4 billion. ChargePoint was able to raise $225 million in private investment in public equity, or PIPE, led by institutional investors including Baillie Gifford and funds managed by Neuberger Berman Alternatives Advisors.

ChargePoint said at the time that it planned to use the new capital to expand in North America and Europe, improve its technology portfolio and significantly scale its commercial, fleet and residential businesses.