More recently, the company has evolved their technology, thanks to an injection of equity finance, simultaneously shifting its focus to real estate beyond Finland.
UK business opportunity
For Parking Energy UK, the focus is on large residential and commercial developments and sites, parking operators and shopping centres, each with between 50 and 3,000 parking spaces. The goal is for all parking to be ‘electric vehicle ready’ by 2020. This doesn’t mean every parking bay needs to have a charging point enabled, but that the infrastructure is in place to allow that to happen quickly, in line with driver demand.
When EV infrastructure is part of the building, multiple vendors have the opportunity to supply the actual charging point boxes, rented monthly by tenants for a fixed cost (plus their energy tariff). This will open up the charging point market to other innovative businesses in the sector. The closest analogy is that of broadband networks, which allow anyone to plug in a compatible device, and benefit from the broadband infrastructure.
Read more about Innovation in the UK Electric Vehicle market article
Parking Energy – the business finance journey
At the time of launch, Heikki and Jukka, Parking Energy’s founders, were already successful entrepreneurs with a proven track record, able to invest their own money as seed funding. This was used to develop a product concept, supported by government grants.
In early 2017, development was ramped up. As the business came close to offering operational products, the business was able to benefit from three phases of funding from the Finnish government. Similarly, innovative UK businesses can benefit from funding from R&D tax credits and innovation grants, for example from InnovateUK, and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Funds.
To date, Parking Energy has received funding of €2.5 million to develop the charging infrastructure, charging points, and software. This has consisted of successive funding rounds, with Angel Finance and Venture Capital both invested, as well as a convertible loan. With a growing, international team, and annual costs of approximately €2 million, this funding was vital.
Parking Energy is currently embarking on an additional funding round, looking to spread the risk and fund their next stage of growth. With every funding round, share ownership is diluted – but current investors have all been given the option of a 20% premium in the next investment round – and most will probably take up this offer.