French startup Bump has signed a multiyear financing partnership with DIF Capital Partners in order to roll out more charging stations for electric vehicles and double down on growth in general.
It is an equity and quasi-equity $180 million deal that will be progressively unlocked from 2022 to 2030. Yesterday, ZePlug also announced a significant investment — but ZePlug focuses on a different market with partnerships with residential and office buildings.
Today’s news is extremely important because Bump operates with a capital-intensive business model. The company has already created 300 charging stations and plans to ship another 2,000 charging stations by the end of 2023.
Bump funds and manages the installation of new charging stations so that there is no upfront cost for their partners. After that, the company handles maintenance and operation. It then takes a cut on kWh, which progressively covers the investment costs and creates some revenue for the company.
Like solar panels, it can take five, 10 or 15 years before a charging station becomes profitable. It’s an infrastructure company, meaning that it’s a long-term business.
Bump has two types of clients. It partners with retailers, malls, hotels and various companies that own parking space to roll out charging stations for anyone looking for a charging station.
It also works with logistics companies and other B2B clients that need to switch to electric vehicles. They get their own charging spots for their vehicles managed by Bump. Clients include Star Service, Top Chrono, Stuart, Europcar, Zity, Bolt and Marcel.
“I often compare our offering with Salesforce in the 2000s,” co-founder and CEO François Oudot told me. “You can either buy a server and a floppy disk, or you can pay a monthly subscription per user.”
It’s true that switching to electric vehicles can be costly. You have to buy new cars and trucks — electric vehicles tend to be more expensive than gas vehicles. You then have to pay a construction company to install charging stations.
Vehicles aren’t supposed to be a core investment for logistics companies. Many companies choose to lease cars, and they would rather pay a bit more to charge their vehicles if they don’t have to do anything to manage their charging stations.
Bump itself works with big construction companies to install charging stations. They have their own software stack and a team that can remotely monitor charging stations. If it’s a hardware issue, third-party companies can also be contacted 24/7 in case they need to go there in person to fix something.
With today’s new funding, Bump plans to roll out 25,000 charging stations by 2030. The startup will also hire a hundred people.