British electric car leasing platform WeVee has closed a seed financing of seven million dollars. The company intends to use this to finance its expansion into continental Europe.
Launched in the UK in March 2020, WeVee describes itself as the “first fully integrated electric vehicle leasing platform.” Available vehicles include more than 50 models from 30 brands, such as Tesla, Mercedes and Jaguar, as well as emerging brands like Polestar and Rivian. According to WeVee, 100,000 users from the UK visit the website each month.
“With battery technology changing so rapidly and new car prices fluctuating, being an electric vehicle owner is risky. But so many people want to be part of the e-revolution. We’re making that happen,” said WeVee founder Paul Fagan, who has more than 20 years of experience in the British leasing industry.
With the income from the financing, WeVee says it will expand into Germany over the course of the year, followed by France, Italy and Spain in 2022. The platform’s range of vehicles will also expand to include commercial vehicles, motorcycles, scooters and related services.
German investors Rahmyn Kress and Michael Perschke came on board as co-founders and board members in this pre-seed financing stage. Kress is a former Chief Digital Officer at Henkel.
“We are building WeVee to be the Airbnb of e-mobility,” said Kress. “The future of transportation is electric, and we will be the first solution for anyone who wants easy access to transportation they know is clean and good for society. There’s no better foundation to build this on than what WeVee has designed for EV leasing.”
Perschke was most recently co-founder and CEO of the Pininfarina Automobili brand, but has since left to become an angel investor.
“WeVee is set to become a real game-changer – if we build out the model as we intend to, we will help companies provide easy and cost-effective e-mobility solutions to their employees, as well as tracking and improving their carbon footprint,” Perschke added.
The completed financing, in which other investors also participated, values the company at £10.1 million.
The news from WeVee comes after the RAC recently launched a new leasing service to make switching to a brand-new electric vehicle easier and more affordable. EV car hire service UFODRIVE has also partnered with Westfield London to offer convenient and fast car rental services at the retail hub.
The leasing industry is increasingly being viewed as a useful way to boost the second-hand market for electric vehicles and quickly get zero-emission vehicles onto the road.
British WeVee competitor LeasePlan is an active member of EV100, an initiative that encourages companies to pledge to transition their fleets off fossil fuels.
Sandra Roling, from EV100 from The Climate Group, sees great potential in leasing companies: “they work towards a long-term vision and they have a lot of impact in terms of educating customers, and leasing companies are able to purchase vehicles in bulk,” said Roling.