Volta, the very special charging network, announced oversubscribed Series D financing of $125 million, which brings the total equity financing to over $200 million.
According to the press release, the plan now is not only to boost the business and expand beyond the U.S., where so far charging points were installed in 23 states and over 200 municipalities.
"The capital raise will further accelerate Volta's efforts to unlock the value of their contract portfolio, and increase their investment in product, engineering and network infrastructure. It will also allow Volta to begin its international expansion."
The unique thing about Volta is that the charging points feature 55-inch digital displays for ads. The AC charging is also free (for a limited time), which attracts customers to particular locations, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and hospitals.
In other words, selling electricity is not a business case for Volta, it's a tool to attract customers and encourage them to buy. The results are immediate, according to Volta:
"Unique to the EV market, Volta’s business model centers around evolving spending habits caused by the move to electric vehicles by building charging infrastructure that reinforces the desired behavior at each location.
Volta’s charging stations feature eye-catching 55-inch digital displays, doubling as a sophisticated media platform providing brands a way to reach millions of shoppers seconds before they enter the store to make a purchase.
These sponsor-supported charging stations provide free energy to customers who are able to plug in their vehicles where and when they shop. Volta’s business partners who install charging stations experience immediate returns; they report an increase in spend, dwell time and engagement on site."
Volta says on its website that customers on average spend $54 per visit (at locations where the charging points were installed, as we understand) and they stay there for some 92 minutes.
Assuming that they are attracted by free charging points and spend more because of the ads, we can guess that it might be profitable. However, there is not data and it would difficult to evaluate anyway.