ChargeLab’s software layer to power ABB’s EV chargers in North America – businesstraverse.com

ChargeLab, a Toronto-based startup building software to operate and optimize electric vehicle charging equipment for fleets and commercial customers, has raised a $15 million Series A round. The round was led by King River Capital and notably includes the participation of strategic investor ABB E-Mobility, a spin-off from technology company ABB that focuses on electric mobility and building charging stations.

As part of ChargeLab’s commercial agreement with ABB, the two companies will launch a bundled hardware and software solution for fleets, multifamily buildings and other commercial electric vehicle charging applications, said Zak Lefevre, founder and CEO of ChargeLab. While the partnership with ABB will certainly give ChargeLab the resources it needs to build out and scale its business software, Lefevre noted that ABB’s interest in ChargeLab stems from the company’s need for better off-the-shelf software. software in North America.

“The reality is that ABB has a device with the ability to connect to the Internet, but they didn’t build those back-end services to connect it, manage it, do billing and payments, scheduling and power management and all that stuff, Lefevre told businesstraverse.com, “So we’re very much in that transition phase where everyone is getting their devices ready to connect to the cloud, but these big hardware companies haven’t necessarily thought about what all the second-order implications are and all the other systems that chargers have. be connected, be it a parking management system or a demand response system to the grid.”

ChargeLab’s core product is its cloud-based charging station management system, which provides apps for EV drivers, dashboards for fleet managers, and open APIs for third-party system integration. The hardware-agnostic software, which runs on the edge and in the cloud, also includes capabilities such as automated charger monitoring, pricing and access rules management, payment processing and electrical load balancing.

The startup’s latest funding round, including: existing investors such as Construct Capital, Root Ventures, Highline Beta, Third Sphere and Maple VC, will help the company move from its seed-stage solution for connecting chargers and driving them in the cloud to more advanced milestones.

“Is that going to be SOC 2 compliant? Will it be scalable across hundreds of thousands of devices?” said Lefevre. “ABB sells to the largest fleets and largest corporations in the world. Can we bundle with ABB and meet those needs?”

(SOC 2 is a voluntary compliance standard developed by the American Institute of CPAs that specifies how organizations should manage customer data.)

ChargeLab’s software is embedded in chargers, ensuring that those chargers are not only safe but also work efficiently and flawlessly at the back, co-founder and chief technology officer Ehsan Mokhtari told businesstraverse.com.

“And that ties in with the security side of things. EV chargers will be the target of cybersecurity attacks if they are connected, so we are very active and standing by,” said Mokhtari. “We have already formed the InfoSec team within the ChargeLab business, as well as advanced techniques to enable offline behavior and self-healing for these chargers, so that is a top priority for us to build products and bring them to market together with our partners.”

In addition to ABB, ChargeLab also works with: Manufacturers of EV chargers such as Phihong, United Chargers, Siemens and Tritium. The startup’s technology has also been white-labeled by charging networks such as Girardin Energy, TurnOnGreen and EVStart. Lefevre says ChargeLab’s software is currently unavailable in thousands of devices in North America, but has not yet exceeded the 10,000 charger limit. That said, Lefevre says the EV charging industry is growing exponentially, meaning the market opportunities are huge.