British utility Centrica is pushing to enter new markets with no less than a total of 100 million dollars earmarked for investment. In a first financing move, the Israeli start-up Driivz that develops software for EV charging solutions has been selected.
Driivz has developed a cloud-based EV charging operating system that helps utilties as well as car manufacturers to manage charging and account billing, Centrica said. They added that their investment will help them to explore new products for electric vehicle drivers.
Exact details of the investment were not given but Centrica said its investment is part of a wider 9 million pound ($12 million) funding round by Driivz. It was made through an investment fund founded by Centrica a year ago. According to information obtained by Globes, this fund will also be used for subsequent investments. The fund’s budget is $140 million, mostly designated for Israel.
For Driivz, Centrica has bigger plans. Centrica investment director Idan Mor told Globes they were in the final stages of negotiations with international energy companies to set up a consortium to support Driivz’s technology and promote it in US and Asia. “We’re not so interested in maximum control of the company; we want global players with access to the various markets, including Japan and the US,” Globes quotes Mor.
Centrica has begun integrating Driivz’s technology in its global service platform and has also added the technology to its bid in UK energy tenders.
Centrica has founded 4,000 charging stations worldwide and recently won a $21 million tender for building a charging system for Transport for London. 300 rapid charging points will be set up in London by 2020, mainly to supply electric cabs reportedly.
Driivz system for managing electric vehicle charging systems is being used by 200,000 electric car drivers worldwide currently, according to the company.
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