ChargePoint has made its second acquisition since going public in March, purchasing European electric fleet management company ViriCiti for €75 million ($88 million) in cash. The news comes just a few weeks after the EV charging network operator announced the purchase of European charging software company has·to·be.
Like the has·to·be buy, this newer deal will beef up ChargePoint’s portfolio of hardware and vehicle management software for electric fleet customers, as well as add another 2,500 networked ports and 3,500 connected vehicles to its growing portfolio. ViriCiti customers include Chicago Transit Authority, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, British public transportation company Arriva and Berlin’s main public transport service Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe.
Beyond this customer base, ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano told TechCrunch the acquisition of ViriCiti will give the company access to a much larger software feature set for customers beyond ChargePoint’s core offerings of charger management and vehicle charger scheduling, like battery health monitoring, vehicle operations data and greater vehicle telematics capabilities.
“It’s really important for us here to make it easy for fleets to electrify and this [acquisition] is all about making us continually having the most complete offering for fleets,” Romano said.
ChargePoint operates the largest vehicle charging network in North America, with more than 112,000 charging points globally, including 3,500 DC fast chargers. The company also offers customers access to another 175,000 public charging spots through network roaming agreements. While the company might be best known for this extensive branded network, it also has a cloud subscription platform, as well as a considerable commercial and fleet division. The company went public in March after merging with blank-check company Switchback Energy Acquisition Corporation.
Some of ViriCiti’s services, like battery health monitoring, could be applicable for residential customers, or even simply for fleet customers that let employees take home or use a company vehicle full-time. “If you have vehicles that go home with the driver […] it would stand to reason that what you need to do in the take-home scenario is, your infrastructure needs to look like a logical extension of the infrastructure that you would have in your depots. So we're pleasantly surprised at how much commercial and residential relevance there is.”
Crucially, ChargePoint will also be absorbing ViriCiti’s more than 50-person workforce, a whole team of mostly software engineers that will transfer their expertise to the new company. “If you just want to see evidence of where our mindset is, look at how many software engineers [are] in the sum total of those two acquisitions,” Romano said. “It's the majority of both of those companies’ staffs are engineers, and they're all software in general […] You can see where our focus is in terms of in terms of investment.”
The story has been corrected to reflect the number of ChargePoint spots and the number of charging points available through roaming with other networks.