Pod Point IPO: Everything you need to know about Pod Point

Pod Point has established itself as one of the UK’s foremost charging networks for electric vehicles. Here’s more on the company ahead of its planned 2021 IPO.

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What is Pod Point?

Pod Point is a UK-based provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, offering charging points to facilitate the switch away from combustion engine use, whether for households, communities or businesses.

The company was started in 2009 by mechanical engineer Erik Fairbairn, who began his career at Ford and had previously founded and sold supercar rental club Ecurie25. Initially, Fairbairn invested much of his own capital in Pod Point and acquired angel funding in the early stages. But in 2014 the company raised £1.5 million in equity crowdfunding on Seedrs, followed by another crowdfunding round, this time for £1.9 million on Crowdcube, the following year.

A further round of £9 million, mostly comprised of venture capital, would follow in 2017. The funding went towards expanding the company’s network into Europe and opening up 50 jobs in the UK.  

Today, Pod Point controls more than 3,700 bays on its public EV charging network and has sold some 100,000 charging points for home use across the UK and Norway. Companies House accounts shows a turnover of £13.5 million for the 2019 period.  

How does Pod Point make money?

Pod Point makes money through the sale of its private charging points to individuals and businesses, income which is supplemented by maintenance packages and hardware upgrades. It also makes money through allowing customers to lease their Pod Point.

Is Pod Point profitable?

Pod Point was not profitable as of its latest available accounts, suffering an operating loss of some £6.8 million before tax for the period to June 2019. However, the year represented a time of expansion for the company in other ways, with major investments in its sales team, technology and operations infrastructure accounting for the deficit at that point. 

Who are Pod Point’s competitors?

Pod Point’s competitors in the UK include Tesla’s Supercharger, Char.gy, Osprey (formerly Engenie), Chargemaster, and InstaVolt. Of these, Chargemaster, which was acquired by BP in 2018, has comparable revenues and the financial clout of a major oil industry parent company.

However, Pod Point’s acquisition by French energy giant EDF and an impending IPO (see below) gives the acquiree potential of its own in the race to come out on top in this rapidly intensifying market.

What is Pod Point’s strategy?

Pod Point was, and is, an idea integral to Fairbairn’s vision of EV as the next generation of transportation. The company was able to leverage the power of crowdfunding to raise enough money to develop its offering, broaden the reach of its charging infrastructure and work towards its goal of placing an EV charge point everywhere drivers park for an hour or more.

The initial traction achieved through peer-to-peer methods allowed the company to secure partnerships with the likes of Barratt Homes, Holiday Extra, and Hyundai, before attracting the £9 million round in 2017. This funding was a catalyst for further development of the charging network, with 600 Tesco stores served in 2018, and would also fund staff hires, key technology and company infrastructure developments.  

Pod Point was acquired by EDF Energy in 2020 in a deal worth around £110 million as part of the French giant’s designs on being the leading energy company for EVs in Europe. Pod Point’s charging solutions were to become part of EDF’s EV offers in the UK, and the deal enabled Pod Point’s national roll out of more charging points to be facilitated. Legal & General Capital also took a stake in the joint venture amounting to 23% of the new business.

Who are the directors of Pod Point?

Pod Point has a number of key personnel that have helped progress the company to its current market position. Here are some of them.

Position

Name

CEO/founder

Erik Fairbairn

Chief Financial Officer

David Surtees

Director of Operations

Rob Walden

Commercial Director

Gill Howard

Head of Talent

Peter Ward

Head of Marketing

Oliver Murphy

When is the Pod Point IPO?

The Pod Point IPO is expected to take place later in 2021. The company is understood to have appointed Bank of America alongside Barclays to advise on the listing.

Media reports suggest that the target valuation in the event of an IPO could be in the hundreds of millions, although a specific figure is speculative at the time of writing.  

Take a look at some more upcoming IPOs in 2021

How much is Pod Point worth?

It is somewhat unclear how much more value Pod Point has gained since its acquisition by EDF for £110 million in 2020, not least because financial data on the company post-2019 is not yet in the public domain. Subsequently, it remains to be seen until flotation just how high a nine-figure sum the valuation will be.

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