ChargedUp picks up £1.2m seed to expand mobile charging network

Keiligh Baker's picture

London-based startup ChargedUp has closed £1.2 million in seed investment.

ChargedUp has developed a network of vending stations where, for a small fee, users can borrow portable power banks, use them for as long as they need and then return them to a station of their choice.

Users locate a station using the ChargedUp app, simply scanning the QR code to release a battery. Each battery can charge a phone twice over and comes with connector cables for both iPhone and Android. The entire ChargedUp network runs on 100% green energy, made possible by a partnership with Ecotricity.

TechCrunch reports that leading the latest funding round is Sir John Hegarty’s fund The Garage, and the ex-Innocent Smoothie founders fund JamJar. The funding will be used to grow the offering across the U.K. and for international expansion.

“It’s annoying and inconvenient to be out and about with a dying phone battery,” says CEO Hugo Tilmouth. £We’ve all been there and I was inspired to do something about it through my own experiences.

"I was at a cricket match at London’s Lord’s Cricket Ground and waiting for a call for a last round interview with a large tech firm, and was running very low on charge. I ended up having to leave the cricket ground, buy a power bank and then rode a Boris Bike home and the light bulb went off in my head! Why not combine the flexibility of the sharing economy with the need of a ‘ChargedUp’ phone!”

ChargedUp aims to be in over 1500 venues in London by mid 2019 and is looking to work with the likes of Pret-A-Manger, TFL and Wetherspoons to ensure people can borrow a battery on every high-street in the UK.

Over the next month, vending stations will be available in eight London M&S stores.

This will include Pantheon, White City, Bankside, Victoria Cardinal Place, Fenchurch Street and Finsbury Pavement alongside those already in place in M&S Merchant Square Café and Waterside Simply Food in Paddington.