German market leader of intelligent and green shared mobility operations moves into higher gear with Hungarian venture capital

Hungarian Lead Ventures invests EUR 4 million in Germany’s leading intelligent, full-scope mobility service provider company.

It is well-established practice on the market that Western venture capital is on the lookout for CEE-based targets, while the reverse situation is not typical – Lead Ventures, the Hungarian venture and private equity company, managed to go against this trend by investing in a German startup developing technology relevant to the regional shared mobility industry, as well.

Moreover, it is not just any company: Chargery is considered to be a major player in Germany as well. The firm is a market leader among intelligent mobility services operators, with clients such as the car sharing company SixtShare, ShareNow and Miles, as well as the e-bike operator Bond. Investors, such as Sixt Ventures, Linden Capital, Vinci Venture Capital and Helvetia Venture Fund have previously invested in the Berlin-based company – and the latter one continued to vote for Chargery with confidence in the current investment round also. Chargery, which aims for a sustainable and greener urban mobility, has received a total of EUR 3.8 million since its 2017 foundation, which has now been increased by another EUR 4 million, thanks to Lead Ventures.

„We have been circling around each other with the management of Chargery. They are impressively professional, with deep industry knowledge, and combine their great vision with the expectations of sustainable growth” – said András Dunai, partner of Lead Ventures. According to Mr. Dunai, they had to wait for the Berlin startup to see what it is capable for, since Lead Ventures focuses on scale-ups: rapidly growing companies that are usually in technology-heavy industries with more than EUR 1 million equity investment and well-proven track record.

It was no coincidence they found each other: one of the main focuses of Lead Ventures is the mobility sector and Chargery is indeed an ace in this field. It provides innovative and cost-effective operational services to shared mobility fleet owners of cars, bikes and e-scooters. In addition to Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, it serves clients in three Dutch cities as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, and during the last two months it launched its operation in Oslo, Norway and five further cities in the United Kingdom.

The DNA of Chargery is its intelligent software platform they developed, which can be easily integrated into clients’ systems. Thanks to this platform, they can flexibly carry out all operational tasks of the fleets, from refueling to cleaning and all the way to maintenance and the specific relocation of the vehicles. The unique route optimization software module handles incoming orders in real time and sends them automatically to the employee who can carry out the given task in the most efficient way. Moreover, it leaves the smallest environmental footprint as well: at Chargery, employees go around the city on e-bikes and electric vans.

„We rapidly moved from the idea of mobile car refuelling services to full-service mobility operations, from Prenzlauerberg district in Berlin to expanding internationally and from a company formed by a few friends to a 300-member strong start-up” – explains Christian Lang, Chargery’s co-founder and CEO. According to him, with Lead Ventures’ investment, they have moved significantly closer to realizing their plans: in spite of the economic difficulties caused by the pandemic, the company with respectable growth potential intends to multiply the number of vehicles under its management and start to operate in additional european cities by the end of 2021.

„Investors consider shared mobility as one of the most promising markets in the Old Continent and several other parts of the world” – stresses András Dunai, partner at Lead Ventures. That is not accidental, considering that in 2017 approximately 10 million people have taken advantage of these services and by 2025, the number of users can reach 36 million, which results in a 16-17% expansion annually. The strongest bastions of shared mobility are the United States and Europe, and within Europe, it is Germany.

Although the fact that European mobility startups and scaleups are favored by investors has played a part in Lead Ventures’ decision (in the past two years record number of high value transactions have been completed in all areas of the industry), the growth potential of Chargery is outstanding even among the most promising German mobility companies: “the company, since its last round of investments at the end of 2019, has quadrupled its monthly turnover” – stated András Dunai.

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