French startup Bump has signed a multi-year financing partnership with DIF Capital Partners to roll out more electric vehicle charging stations and double overall growth.

It is a $180 million equity and quasi-equity deal that will be unlocked gradually from 2022 to 2030. Yesterday, ZePlug has also announced a significant investment, but ZePlug is targeting a different market with partnerships with residential and office buildings.

Today’s news is extremely important because Bump operates on 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 finances and manages the installation of new charging stations, so there are no upfront costs for their partners. After that, the company takes care of maintenance and operation. Subsequently, kWh is saved, which gradually covers the investment costs and generates income for the company.

As with solar panels, it can take 5, 10 or 15 years before a charging station becomes profitable. It’s an infrastructure company, which means it’s a long-term business.

Bump has two types of customers. It works with retailers, shopping malls, hotels and various companies that own parking lots to roll out charging stations for anyone looking for a charging station.

It also works with logistics companies and other B2B customers who need to switch to electric vehicles. They get their own charging points for their vehicles which are operated by Bump. Customers include StarService, TopChrono, Stuart, Europcar, Zity, Bolt and Marcel.

“I often compare our offering to 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.”

And it’s true that switching to electric vehicles can be costly. You have to buy new cars and trucks – electric vehicles are usually more expensive than gas-powered vehicles. You then have to pay a construction company to install charging stations.

Vehicles should not be a core investment for logistics companies. Many companies choose to lease cars and would rather pay a little more to charge their vehicles if they don’t have to do anything to manage their charging stations.

Bump itself works with large construction companies to install charging stations. They have their own software stack and a team that can monitor charging stations remotely. 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 employ 100 people.

Image Credits: Bump

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