Polish startup gets backing from American & German VC to bring free EV charging to Warsaw


ChargeEuropa (formerly ChargePolska), whose mission is to speed up the global EV adoption rate, has successfully closed its pre-seed financing round.


The round was led by US-based Canard Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm with a focus on technologies and business models that are shaping the creative industry. Other notable investors include Vireo Ventures, Jan-Christoph Rickers and Sam Baker, co-founder of Wunder Mobility.


ChargeEuropa builds and installs EV chargers in cities and provides the power for free to drivers. They create sponsorship opportunities for sustainable brands by displaying their messages to pedestrians on large, 65” touchscreens that are built into the stations. The business model is free charging in exchange for advertising space - it allows cities and commercial properties to save a fortune on EV charging infrastructure and promotes the use of clean transportation in places that need it the most.


“We’re getting a chance to prove that brands will use our marketplace to sponsor clean mobility,” says Matt Tymowski, CEO of ChargeEuropa. In addition to securing strategic locations, ChargeEuropa has confirmed partnerships with several multi-national brands aligned with sustainability.


“The ChargeEuropa team have shown a strong understanding of the potential in combining Digital Out of Home Advertising with EV charging” said Thomas Labryga of Vireo Ventures. Thomas believes that the City of Warsaw is a perfect blueprint for displaying the potential of ad-based, free EV charging: high EV growth potential, high spend on Digital Out of Home Advertising (€30m in 2019) and a publicly disclosed desire to move to electric by the Polish Government. “In this context – the ChargeEuropa concept has great potential. The goal is to copy and paste the network globally in similar cities.”


After successfully completing their proof-of-concept last summer, ChargeEuropa are now building out a network of 18 free-to-use charging-points at selected sites within the City of Warsaw. The focus area will be commercial properties such as shopping malls, office buildings, grocery stores and busy public parking areas. “We’re going to be wherever you shop, eat or work”, says Matt. “The idea is that since it takes time to do your groceries, or order food and eat with your friends, why not charge for free at the same time?”


ChargeEuropa are using proven data and charging habits from Californian EV drivers to confirm that Varsovians will “top up” their cars wherever they park, instead of driving “till zero” and then frantically search for a fast charger – like you do with traditional petrol cars (drive till empty and then “filler-up” at the station).


“Most EV owners charge at home in their garage overnight, but what about the 80,000 drivers that have to park on the streets of Warsaw?” says Euan Wheatley, COO of ChargeEuropa. “Not being a homeowner doesn’t mean you can’t choose to drive electric; we want to give these people charging options in the locations that they visit.”


ChargeEuropa are launching their network later this year, the locations of their chargers will be displayed on their website soon.