WeFlex to raise $80 million to support the ride-hailing market’s switch to electric
The demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has accelerated in recent years as people switch to sustainable transportation as part of the effort to fight climate change. Now one UK-based fintech startup is raising new funds to supercharge the efforts to transition the ride-hailing industry into a greener future.
Today, London-based tech startup WeFlex said it is raising $80 million (£60m) to support the Ride-Hailing market’s switch to electric. WeFlex announced that it has appointed EY to drive its fundraising efforts. The funds, a mixture of debt and equity, will be used to support its goal to get ride-hailing drivers to switch to EVs, supercharging efforts to transition the ride-hailing industry’s greener future.
WeFlex is an approved Uber Clean Air Plan partner, providing EVs to Private Hire Ride-Hailing Drivers (market size of approximately 230,000 individuals, including but not exclusive to Uber) through a flexible vehicle financing product, where the customer owns the vehicle at the end of the agreement. The Clean Air Fund is currently sitting at £145m.
Founded by CEO and co-founder Nicko Williamson, WeFlex is a data-rich business with the latest in-vehicle telematics technology. In addition to vehicle financing, WeFlex also provides the option of a short-term vehicle rental to allow ride-hailing drivers to get comfortable with switching to an EV as well as insurance, vehicle servicing, PCO licensing, and more.
Since its inception, WeFlex has raised £2m in equity from investors, as well as the debt of £27m. The new round of fund-raising announced today aims to significantly ramp up capital stocks, focused on debt and equity. The investment will support a strategic goal of reaching a 10,000-strong EV fleet by 2025 and will help save almost 300,000 tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of 29.5m gallons of diesel or 12.7m bags of household waste recycled.
In a statement, Williamson said, “We are passionate about accelerating the adoption of EVs in the Ride-Hailing market. There is a huge and pressing opportunity for WeFlex to play a major part in helping the ride-hailing market switch to EVs, helped by Uber’s commitment to be a 100% EV platform in London by 2025 plus clean air zones coming in across major UK cities.”
He also added, “We are raising further funding to capitalize on this opportunity, giving WeFlex the ability to scale faster as more ride-hailing drivers look to make the switch to EVs. We chose EY due to their breadth of experience, network, team, and reach which we believe will help us access relevant pools of capital and partners who can help us grow the business.”
Nick Parkhouse, EY Corporate Finance Partner, adds: “We are poised to drive this fundraising round, and are excited to be a part of WeFlex’s sustainability agenda, as they look to deliver much-needed EVs into London and the wider UK ride-hailing market. The EV market will increasingly be a core element in the shift to green and to our collective mission to lower emissions in the UK. EY’s expertise in the auto leasing and wider energy transition sectors will come to the fore, and we are pleased to be supporting such a progressive and ESG-linked fund-raise.”