Israeli-founded EV sharing startup Envoy bought by Blink Charging in $34m deal

Startup’s electric car sharing platform is used at apartment buildings, hotels and workplaces; deal comes as tech startups struggle to raise funds

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Envoy Technologies has created an on-demand EV sharing service charging drivers by the hour or by the day by using a mobile app. (Courtesy)
Envoy Technologies has created an on-demand EV sharing service charging drivers by the hour or by the day by using a mobile app. (Courtesy)

Israeli-founded Envoy Technologies, the developer of an electric vehicle (EV) sharing software platform, has been snapped up by a subsidiary of American EV charging station operator Blink Charging, in a deal worth $34 million.

Founded in 2017 by Israeli real estate and tech entrepreneurs Aric Ohana and Ori Sagie, US-based Envoy has created an electric car sharing platform managing EV fleets as an amenity offered to residents of private real estate developments and communities across more than 22 states, including Florida, California, Oregon, Washington, New York, and Illinois.

The idea is that the shared use of electric cars becomes a perk offered by luxury apartment buildings, hotels and workplaces. The on-demand EV sharing service is charged by the hour or by the day, using a mobile app to reserve and access vehicles, driver insurance, maintenance, and on-site EV charging stations.

As part of the acquisition deal, Envoy will be merged with Blink Charging’s subsidiary, Blink Mobility, an electric car sharing service operating in Los Angeles. To date, Envoy has raised $15 million, backed by Shell Ventures and Building Ventures as well as other investors, such as Goodyear Ventures, GroundBreak Ventures, and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Impact Fund. Following the merger, current shareholders will receive $34 million as part of a cash and share conversion transaction deal.

The merger deal comes as tech companies have been struggling to raise fresh funding in recent months, with the downturn in financial markets and the higher interest rate environment coupled with the prospect of a global economic slowdown driving down valuations.

“About a year ago, the liquidity situation in the market evolved as a factor that could impede on maximizing growth, while at the same time creating opportunities against the background of the closure of many companies in our field of activity,” said Sagie, who has also been serving as the CEO of Envoy. “Therefore, with the support of the board of directors, I decided to work towards a merger that would allow the company to grow faster, broader and benefit from global operational capabilities.”

Envoy Technologies has developed an electric car sharing platform for residential buildings, hotels and workplaces. (Courtesy)

“The merger with Blink Mobility will give confidence to our investors,  and the company’s 27 employees,” he added. Following the deal, Ohana will replace Sagie as the CEO.

Nasdaq-listed Blink Charging said that the acquisition “combined with its existing EV car-sharing service, and with the recently awarded $7.5 million to develop an electric car-sharing programs in New Jersey, will create one of the largest all-electric car-sharing companies in the United States leveraging one of the most robust platforms in the industry.”

Envoy has stationed over 300 EVs at more than 150 multifamily properties and office buildings and installed more than 150 EV charging stations in the US. The firm deploys a variety of EV brands including Tesla (Model S, 3, X, Y), Rivian R1T, Porsche Taycan, Polestar 2, Audi e-tron, Chevy Bolt, and the Nissan Leaf.

“Envoy and Blink Mobility provide a ‘try it before you buy it’ service enabling people to experience life in an EV before a full commitment,” said Ohana.

As part of a push to accelerate the use of EVs, the Biden administration has set a goal of building a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030 to align with expectations that half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 will be electric.

“In January, over 7.1% of all new car sales were EVs, up from 4.3% the previous year, and it was only 1.1% in 2017, the year Envoy was founded,” according to Ohana.

Michael D. Farkas, executive chairman of Blink Mobility and CEO at Blink Charging, remarked that the acquisition is part of the US company’s “mission to promote electrification of the nearly $13 billion projected car-sharing industry in the US.”

“There continues to be tremendous opportunity among various communities, including inner city areas, for the need of clean, reliable, and accessible transportation,” Farkas said.

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