A crowdfunding round for electric car-sharing platform evee hit its maximum target overnight of $1.6 million as retail investors flocked to grab a slice of the fast-moving company.
The former head of developer delight and media at Atlassian and the former marketplace director of Canva joined in on evee’s raise, enabling the company to push forward with its global aspirations.
The average investment from the 618 backers was $2,479 - well above the $1,600 average across Birchal’s platform - further demonstrating Australians' appetite to support the scaleup.
In addition, an extra $70,000 on top of the $1.6 million came through in the final hour of the raise - with those contributing to the oversubscription to land on a waitlist in case any existing investments fall through.
Founded by CEO Slava Kozlovskii in 2015, Canberra-based evee has amassed more than 8,000 customers since it first launched and now has electric cars in every major city in Australia.
The business also recently launched in New Zealand, and with an extra $1.6 million in the tank the company is now looking to speed into the UK and Europe.
The latest milestone comes after evee hit its minimum target of $300,000 on Birchal just 124 minutes after opening the raise to the public in late March.
CEO and founder Kozlovskii told Business News Australia that the support received was a win for the electric vehicle industry as a whole.
“It feels like a pivotal moment for not just our company, but electric vehicles overall,” he said.
“There’s so much interest from the Australian public and the larger, high-net-worth investors as well.
“It feels like finally, we are moving towards cleaner, more sustainable electric transport, which is something we’ve been working hard towards.”
The CEO added that he had always wanted to take the brand overseas and that the funds raised would help him realise these dreams.
“From day one, I conceived this as a global business. All of the decisions were driven by the fact that we wanted to expand globally,” he said.
“The reason we chose New Zealand as a first international expansion step is because it’s relatively close and it’s the number one travel destination for Australians and vice versa.
“It helped us create a blueprint for further expansion. We know what we need to do in terms of insurance, regulatory compliance and tech, and we are definitely looking at expanding further to the UK and hopefully Europe as well.”
Backers included the likes of Questmate founder and ex-Atlassian head of developer delight and media Sascha-Manuel Reuter - a user of the platform - who said he was ‘stoked’ to invest in evee.
“The progress the team made in growing and improving the platform over the last couple of years, despite the pandemic and market downturn, has been nothing short of impressive,” Reuter said.
“I’m especially excited about the upcoming UK and New Zealand rollout and going truly global from there.
“The investment in evee just perfectly aligns with my values and other investments in the climate action (like Trace) & general social responsibility (Gretel) spaces.”
Current Canva advisor and the former marketplace director at the graphic design platform Lee Torrens was also one of the raise’s top investors.
As a Tesla Model Y owner, Torrens said he didn’t want to miss out on backing evee.
“I didn’t invest in the early days of the internet nor did I invest in the early days of smartphones. So I don't want to miss the opportunity of investing in the early days of electric cars,” Torrens said.
“I like evee because it’s building a solid foundation to dominate the crowd rental portion of the EV market transformation.”
Kozlovskii said it was ‘amazing’ to receive support from the likes of Torrens and Reuter.
“To have names from large and inspiring Australian success stories - people that have been involved with these companies - feels very inspiring,” Kozlovskii said.
The CEO added that the company will be able to fully pursue its plans now that the raise hit the maximum target possible.
“We’ve already started doing some recruiting, or at least research, and speaking to companies that can help scale our marketing strategy and technology as well,” he said.
“We've already started to put things in place to start executing - we don’t want to wait too long.”
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