Heard of PlugShare before? Probably.
About 7 out of 10 EV owners in the US have downloaded the app, which has been one of the most used EV charger-finder in the industry globally. It has roughly 3 million app downloads worldwide and my data says the website gets 417k visits a month.
PlugShare's info is often community-sourced like Waze and they've added a pan-network payment solution to the app. There are millions of user-generated photos and reviews about chargers globally, which makes it a real community app.
Price: $25M cash. Jaan's take: that's quite the acquisition rate for EVgo with ~$8 per user + added benefits. The life-time-value of the user itself would surely top this by a mile?
Why it's important: Cutting through all the fancy talk of the press release, I think this acquisition is a goose-laying-golden-eggs for EVgo, because:
- User growth - EVgo will reach its absolute core audience - the people looking for chargers. Can't get more hyper-targeted than this. Now they can direct users to use their chargers more often (although they said they wouldn't answer questions from Electrek).
- Talent acquisition - having built out the PlugShare, PlugInsights survey tool with 72k drivers, payment solutions, connected APIs, and a lot of integrations, the team can add a lot to EVgo's platform.
- Extra business directions - the PlugInsights brings in money, as I know from an anonymous source that for data integrations, the quotes start at around $10k.
Questions in the air:
Will the PlugShare really stay unbiased towards EVgo?
The other charging networks might be less likely to share their data since it's competition now. Will we see more similar acquisitions from the EV charging networks?
Or from the OEMs that are developing their networks in-house, like Tesla and Rivian?
I'll see if I can get some comments for y'all from these parties.