Electric Mobility Startup Revel Announces $126 Million Series B Funding Round Led by BlackRock
【Summary】Brooklyn New York-based transportation startup Revel, which allows users to rent electric mopeds, sign up for monthly e-bike subscriptions, hail an electric Tesla Model Y or find fast-charging that’s compatible with any brand of EV, announced a $126 million Series B funding round led by BlackRock Renewable Power (BlackRock).
Brooklyn New York-based transportation startup Revel, which allows users to rent electric mopeds, sign up for monthly e-bike subscriptions, hail an electric Tesla Model Y or find fast-charging that's compatible with any brand of EV, announced a $126 million Series B funding round led by BlackRock Renewable Power (BlackRock).
Toyota's early stage venture capital firm Toyota Ventures also increased its investment in Revel along with participation from Goodyear Ventures, Shell Ventures and others. As part of the latest investments, representatives from BlackRock and Toyota Ventures will join Revel's board of directors.
"We are pleased to support Revel's strong growth momentum as it continues to expand its EV charging infrastructure segment and ultimately help reduce carbon emissions in major urban centers," said Martin Torres, Head of the Americas for BlackRock Renewable Power. "This investment is highly complementary to our existing portfolio of investments in the rapidly-growing EV charging infrastructure space, which presents an attractive opportunity for our clients as we continue to support the energy transition."
Revel was founded in 2018 and entered the crowded field of e-bike and electric scooter mobility startups that includes Lime, Jump Bird and Spin. The company initially started out by renting electric mopeds before expanding to e-bikes, then eventually electric passenger vehicles with its Tesla-only ride-hailing service and EV charging infrastructure.
Customers can summon a Tesla Model Y using the Revel smartphone app. Revel's Tesla Model Ys are easily recognizable as all of them painted a bright shade of blue the company calls "Revel Blue".
Revel's Tesla Model Y vehicles also offer extra legroom. The company has removed the front passenger seats in each of the vehicles to give rear seat passengers more room to stretch out. The company also added a touch screen display that can be accessed from the rear set to control the cabin temperature or play music through an interactive interface.
Revel currently operates its mobility services in four New York City boroughs, as well as Washington, D.C., Miami, Florida, and the San Francisco Bay Area. The company aims to expand to other cities.
Unlike the business models of Uber and Lyft, Revel owns and maintains its entire rideshare fleet that's made up exclusively of Tesla Model Y SUVs. With most gig economy business models, drivers are independent contractors and own their vehicles. Revel's drivers however, are employees of the company and receive competitive wages and access to benefits.
In addition, Revel's drivers don't have to worry about wear and tear on their personal vehicles while working for the company, since Revel owns the fleet and takes care of all of the maintenance needs.
Revel also operates an EV charging "Superhub" in Brooklyn, that is open to the public and accessible to any drivers of any brand of EV. The EV charging site provides additional charging options to urban residents that may not have convenient access to charging. In addition, the Suberhubs can accommodate the charging of many vehicles at once.
Revel's EV charging Superhubs are also meant to support the company's own electric rideshare service, which brings guaranteed utilization to the chargers as the adoption of consumer and commercial EVs continues to grow.
"Revel's vertical integration of electric vehicle options on top of fast-charging EV Superhubs maximizes both consumer choice and infrastructure utilization," said Jim Adler, Founding Managing Director of Toyota Ventures. "It's the right strategy to provide accessible transit that lowers city carbon emissions, improves the health of the planet, and drives Revel's success in the most lucrative markets in the world."
Revel said it will use the new funding to expand its network of EV fast charging Superhubs in New York City and other urban locations, creating the charging infrastructure required to drive large-scale EV adoption, while helping cities to meet their greenhouse emissions reduction goals.
"When it comes to climate change, there's no time to waste - the transition to electric mobility has to happen now," said Frank Reig, CEO and Co-Founder of Revel. "Urban charging infrastructure is the missing piece that's kept millions of drivers from making the switch to EVs, and with this funding Revel will be able to build it in cities across the country."
Revel previously raised $34 million in a Series A round led by Ibex Investors in Oct 2019. Other investors in that round included Hyundai CRADLE, Blue Collective, Launch Capital and Maniv Mobility.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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