A company that makes charging stations for the blossoming electric vehicle industry began trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange with financial backing from a Dallas investment firm.
ChargePoint Inc. is combining its EV charging business with Dallas-based Switchback Energy Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company formed to seek out investments in energy-related firms. The combined company, renamed ChargePoint Holdings Inc., trades under the ticker symbol CHPT.
Shares opened at $32.30 and fell slightly in early trading.
SPACs are formed to raise money through an initial public stock offering and that cash is then used to acquire a private company and take it public. Formed in May 2019, Switchback went public two months later and raised about $300 million to search for energy deals.
The mechanism for taking companies public exploded in popularity last year, when 255 SPACs were formed. This year has already seen 364 SPACs seeking investments or taking companies public, according to SPAC Insider.
Headquartered in Campbell, Calif., ChargePoint has been building its EV network since 2007. Its cloud subscription platform and hardware include options for every charging scenario, from home and multifamily to workplace, parking, hospitality, retail and transport fleets.
EV adoption by automakers and buyers is expected to lead to an estimated $190 billion investment in charging infrastructure by 2030, Switchback CEO Scott McNeill said when the SPAC deal was originally announced in September. EVs are projected to grow to 29% of all vehicle sales by then.
The deal to take ChargePoint public gives it access to $480 million in cash, putting an enterprise value of $2.4 billion on the new company, according to the company and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ChargePoint plans to use the cash to further expand its business in Europe. German automakers Daimler and BMW are investors in the company.
ChargePoint is one of the largest EV charging service providers in the world, with 115,000 charging points offered through 4,000 partner businesses and organizations. Customers include Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway, PepsiCo, Target, United Airlines, GM and Ikea.
ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano said his company’s growth isn’t tied to a single brand.
“With ChargePoint, you don’t have to bet on choosing the next winning EV brand because we charge it all, both passenger cars and fleet vehicles,” he said in September. “We’re an index for the basket of all the auto brands in the markets that are adopting electrification.”
And because vehicles spend most of their time parked, “every business that has parking places is a potential customer,” he said.
ChargePoint’s revenue fell from $147 million in 2019 to $135 million last year due to reduced driving during COVID-19. In an investor presentation, ChargePoint estimated its revenue will climb to $198 million this year and projects annual revenue growth of 60%, powering it to $2 billion in revenue by 2026.
Switchback CEO McNeill and chief commercial officer Jim Mutrie began talking with ChargePoint early last year about going public, according to a transcript of their recent fireside conversation with IPO Edge. They had backing from a private investment fund advised by NGP Energy Capital Management.
McNeill and Mutrie were formerly executives at RSP Permian, a Dallas oil producer that sold to Concho Resources in 2018 for $9.5 billion. RSP Permian was backed by a $200 million investment from NGP, McNeill said.
After RSP Permian was sold, McNeill and Mutrie said they decided to partner with NGP again and that led them to ChargePoint.
“Electric vehicle adoption in the U.S. and worldwide is going to ramp significantly,” Mutrie said at the IPO Edge event. “You can’t have more EVs unless you have the charging infrastructure to support that.”