Interview with Jan Berggren, CEO ChargePanel
Translated from Swedish ( please click here for the original text)
For those who haven’t heard of ChargePanel before, can you tell us a little more about your business, what you do and which market you address?
ChargePanel as a Greentech company was established in 2016 with the aim of enabling an easier transition to e-mobility. We deliver, develop, and maintain the ChargePanel platform, which results in a SaaS solution that simplifies the infrastructure around electric vehicle (EV) charging. This is done through OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) and e-Roaming, which enables integration with other open networks and so that end users do not have to switch between several applications and operators when EV charging. We thereby give companies the opportunity to manage and operate their charging networks for electric vehicles in an efficient and profitable way. Through our software-based platform that is both smart and secure, while being independent, we create conditions for profitability for companies in the electric car charging industry. We are today represented through our customers in Sweden, the Nordic countries, Europe, and Africa.
Our platform offers can be divided into three different products:
- ChargePanel Enterprise – is our complete white label system and is aimed at EV charging network owners. With Enterprise, you can control an entire infrastructure of EV chargers and enable a simple overview of the locations where the user has EV chargers.
- ChargePanel Cloud – constitutes the system for charging operators and enables operational control of their infrastructure of the charging points. Cloud also enables customer management on a more local level.
- ChargePanel Connect – consists of the white label adapted mobile application for the EV user. The mobile application can be used to charge one’s vehicle, regardless of whether a payment is required or if it takes place at home.
What trends and driving forces in society do you see benefiting you in the future?
As of June 29, EU countries and their environment ministers agreed to say yes to a ban on new gasoline and diesel cars in 2035. This indicates that from 2035, no new cars with internal combustion engines will be sold. The global electrification ambition is the single greatest driving force for both us and the entire industry in which we operate. Electrification is widespread and driven by the whole of society, with governments, authorities, car manufacturers and other companies, but also private individuals, all over the world participating in the gigantic transformation required.
There is a clear need to switch from fossil fuel to electricity as soon as possible. The number of electric vehicles is increasing sharply, while we can see world-leading car manufacturers have a strong focus on electric cars. These large volumes of new EV adopters and accompanying infrastructure are also driving product and user development forward; For example, in the last six months we have released two new services such as eRoaming and EV Fleet Management in order to continue offering products based on demand.
This trend is driving the entire infrastructure around EV charging, which includes everything from the number of charging stations to the ease of use of mobile applications. A well-functioning infrastructure is necessary for electric mobility to work. For ChargePanel, we see clear driving forces that create business opportunities while also being an important part of creating a sustainable infrastructure for the growing market.
ChargePanel has adopted a growth strategy, can you tell us a little more about it?
Our growth strategy is based on growing with our customers, hence great importance is placed on signing the right strategic agreements with companies that, with their size and geographic presence, can help fulfill our growth strategy. In plain language, this means that when we sign an agreement, it is important that our new customer has the potential to grow into more markets than the then local one. To give an example, we presented our latest collaboration on June 15th with Smart Balance, who intend to use our SaaS platform to enable the expansion and management of the company’s charging network in Romania, while the company’s ambition is to expand its operations to Hungary, Belgium, France and Germany. Our growth strategy is therefore based on partly signing new customers, in parallel with how we grow naturally with existing customers.
In addition to this, we also see opportunities to grow through acquisitions. Acquisitions would be a possibility when we see that this can create value and can add a good match in terms of product and organization, and for the right cause and at the right time.
You carried out a successful IPO at the end of last year, what are your goals in 2022 and what do you see as your biggest challenges going forward?
Our goal is to continue living up to, and try to exceed, the previously communicated growth plan. This can, and should, happen organically, but still be made possible via acquisitions.
Our challenges are:
- To continue to have a platform that is perceived to be at the absolute forefront.
- To continue to stand out in the “noise” in an increasingly competitive and strongly growing market. Today, we see no identical competitors, but fiercer competition cannot be ruled out.
- In addition, there are challenges for the entire market which can complicate our customers’ establishment and roll-out plans, with problems such as conductor shortages, ongoing unrest in the world and inflation.
Can you name three reasons why ChargePanel is a good investment today?
- Firstly, we are a Greentech company and are in the middle of the big transition from fossil fuel to electricity.
- Secondly, we have a global underlying market; our product is just as relevant in Sweden as it is in Mumbai and Brisbane, which means that the market and customer potential is very large while what we do is scalable.
- Finally, we are now well equipped with a strong monetary foundation to capitalize on what we do best.
Source: Analyst Group