FreeWire Technologies, a developer of ultrafast electric vehicle (EV) charging and energy management solutions, raised $125 million in new capital. The financing consists of a Senior Convertible Note provided exclusively by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Financial Management, Inc. and a concurrent equity raise with institutional and strategic investors such as bp ventures, Riverstone Holdings, Octave Ventures, Gly Capital Management, Blue Bear Capital, and Daishin Private Equity amongst others.
The new capital will be used to support FreeWire’s growth plans as the company accelerates commercial deployments of its battery-integrated ultrafast EV charging technology and increases manufacturing capacity to meet growing global customer demand, including high priority markets such as the UK, Canada, Japan, and Australia/New Zealand.
Proceeds will also be used to expand the company’s talent pool and invest in R&D to drive continued innovation of its product roadmap and energy management platform.
FreeWire recently broke ground on a new 66,000-square-foot R&D facility in Newark, California to develop and manufacture new ultrafast charging and energy storage product offerings. Construction of the facility is underway and will be fully operational by Summer 2022, putting FreeWire at the center of the San Francisco Bay Area’s transportation technology hub.
FreeWire’s proprietary battery-integrated charging technology, Boost Charger, addresses grid constraints by packaging charging infrastructure, grid infrastructure, and energy storage into a fully-integrated compact solution.
Boost Charger features a 160 kWh integrated Li-ion battery (bottom) and Silicon-carbide (SIC) switching technology (upper left). The unit offers CCS1 / CCS2 and CHAdeMO connectors. CCS output is 150 kW; CHAdeMO output is 100 kW. Two vehicles can charge simultaneously at up to 75 kW each.
In addition to its hardware offering, FreeWire is also evolving its software platform, which is expected to result in multiple, recurring high-margin revenue streams over the medium- and longer-term.
In 2022, the company expects to roll out AMP Pro, which will provide distributed energy management services that unlock the inherent value of the battery system through load shifting, demand charge management, resiliency, and more, followed by Charging as a Service in 2023. FreeWire’s long-term objective is to offer a turnkey retail energy service, whereby it owns, manages, and optimizes the customer’s utility meter and bill to unlock opportunities to further monetize its integrated battery system.
The most significant barrier to mass EV adoption is the electric grid, which simply can’t meet the power demand required for ultrafast charging to sustainably and cost-effectively electrify our transportation system.
FreeWire’s fully-integrated Boost Charger breaks down this barrier by combining battery technology, power conversion technology, and software to enable utilities, retailers, fleets, and site-owners across the US to scale up ultrafast EV charging quickly without requiring expensive and time-consuming utility upgrades. In addition to lowering total operating costs, FreeWire’s integrated battery enables distributed energy services that would otherwise not have existed.—Arcady Sosinov, Founder and CEO of FreeWire Technologies
Chargers paired with energy storage will optimize low-cost renewable energy sources and provide additional grid resiliency, allowing EVs to recharge and support critical facilities when power is out. FreeWire’s integrated system enables its customers to deploy ultrafast charging and power solutions more quickly, while easing the strain on the electric grid, with the potential to unlock an entirely new category of distributed energy services.
FreeWire has installed nearly 5 MWh of energy storage capacity through battery-integrated charging to date, with more than 30 MWh booked. FreeWire aims to deploy more than 5,000 ultrafast battery-integrated chargers by 2025.
Citigroup served as sole private placement advisor and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati served as FreeWire’s legal advisor on the transactions.