FreeWire Technologies seeks funding, cuts 113 staff

Caution! High Voltage! ⚡️

Freewire Technologies says it needs additional capital to further support growth and ensure continued success, in a statement issued after its plans for closing its Newark, CA facility and laying off the 113-person team became public.

The WARN notice filed with the State of California says they plan to close their HQ at 7200 Gateway Blvd. Newark CA 94560 permanently on 24th June 2024, laying off 113 workers.

Here is the statement from FreeWire (bold parts by me):

As a company committed to transparency and open communication, we want to address recent discussions regarding FreeWire’s financial situation.

The EV market is currently facing some headwinds, and like many players in the industry, we’re navigating through these challenges. However, it’s important to note that FreeWire’s quality initiatives and production are better situated than ever before. Our dedication to quality improvement has strengthened our market position during these uncertain times.

Additional capital is necessary to further support our growth initiatives and ensure continued success. Therefore, we are actively seeking further funding, a step that aligns with strategies pursued by many companies in the industry. Meanwhile, we are continuing operations and supporting our valued customers, while making efforts to right-size the company.

We remain confident in our team, our technology, and our vision for the future of clean energy solutions. We appreciate the ongoing support of our stakeholders and partners as we work to overcome these challenges and continue to drive positive change in the EV market.

FreeWire Technologies statement, per Electrek

Context on FreeWire:

FreeWire, by their own words, “offers advanced EV charging with energy storage, simplifying the installation process while significantly reducing costs.” Here are their main charging products, the Boost Pro series, with 200kW charging and 150kWh of integrated battery storage:

FreeWire’s recent past:

Volvo Cars Tech Fund and bp Ventures are one of the early investors in FreeWire, both in 2018, with bp investing in $5M (link).

In April 2022, FreeWire raised a $125M Series D round consisting of a Senior Convertible Note provided exclusively by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, and a concurrent equity raise with bp ventures, Riverstone Holdings, Octave Ventures, Gly Capital Management, Blue Bear Capital, and Daishin Private Equity amongst others.

In December 2022, FreeWire acquired Mobilyze AI, a platform that uses artificial intelligence to help site hosts strategically place fast-charging stations to maximize their return on investment.

In January this year, FreeWire partnered with GM Energy to help deploy the former’s ultra-fast EV chargers to commercial and fleet customers in the US.

We are bound for some consolidation in the EV charging market in the US, it'll be interesting to report where this ends up.

We will, as usual, report along the way in our weekly newsletter. Also, don’t miss our deep dive on the Tesla Supercharging layoffs and everything we’ve learned.

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