Electric Vehicle Charging Provider ChargePoint Nears Deal to Go Public, Sources Say
ChargePoint, one of the oldest and largest EV charging providers in the U.S., is close to a deal to go public in a reverse merger with Switchback Energy Acquisition Corp, source that requested anonymity told Reuters on Wednesday.
The reverse merger deal could value the company at more than $2 billion.
Switchback Energy is a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) or blank check company, which raised $300 million in its own initial public offering in July 2019. SPACs are usually formed in order to quickly raise funds via an IPO to finance a reverse merger or acquisition. It's typically used by startups to attract new funding on the stock market.
The funds are held escrow until a combination transaction closes. However, if no acquisition is made within 24 months, the SPAC is dissolved and funds are returned to investors.
The deal might be announced as early as next week, the sources said. However the people that spoke with Reuter said that the talks could still collapse and terms may still change.
Last month, Silicon Valley-based ChargePoint, which was founded in 2007, announced it raised $127 million in new equity financing. The company's strategic investors include German automakers Daimler AG, BMW and the venture arm of oil company Chevron Corp.
At the time, ChargePoint said the funds will be used to accelerate the expansion of its global commercial EV charging network. ChargePoint also plans to continue to scale its policy, marketing and sales efforts as it expands its network.
The latest investment increases the company's total funding to $660 million. Before the new funding, ChargePoint was valued at $1.25 billion, according to PitchBook.
To date, ChargePoint's network has expanded to include 114,000 charging stations which have been used roughly 80 million times by EV drivers.
In February, ChargePoint announced a new partnership with the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) with plans to install 4,000 EV charging sites at more than 4,000 travel plazas and fuel stops across all 50 states in the U.S. NATSO represents America's vast network of travel plazas and truck stops.
ChargePoint's plans to go public follows a crop of similar reverse merger deals with electric vehicle startups this year that are turning to Wall Street to raise capital, including Chinese automakers Xpeng Motors, Li Auto, as well as U.S. based electric truck startup Lordstown Motors and hydrogen-electric truck maker Nikola Motors.
San Jose California-based lidar company Velodyne Lidar Inc also plans to go public later this year in a reverse merger with SPAC Graf Industrial Corp. (GRAF).
In addition to operating EV charging infrastructure, ChargePoint also partners with automakers, providing access to its EV charging station map data, which integrates with the vehicle's in-dash navigation unit. The company has partnered with General Motors, Toyota, Nissan BMW and others so drivers of their electric vehicles can always find a place to charge.
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