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Shell investing in Ori Sagie's electric car startup Envoy

Shell investing in Ori Sagie's electric car startup Envoy

Startup announced the completion of an $81 million investment round, including an $11 million series round A, led by Shell Ventures, the investment fund of one of the largest energy corporations in the world

Meir Orbach | 19:22  12.11.2020
Envoy, a startup founded by Israeli Ori Sagie which provides electric vehicles and charging stations for apartment buildings and communities in the U.S., has announced the completion of an $81 million investment round. The funding includes an $11 million series round A, led by Shell Ventures, the investment fund of one of the largest energy corporations in the world, and Building Ventures, with participation by DENSO, Goodyear Ventures, Los Angeles Clean-tech Incubator and GroundBreak Ventures.

The remaining $70 million was raised through debt from financial services multinational Macquarie Services. The funding will help the company, founded by Ori Sagie, to expand its activity in the U.S., as well as set up its operations in Israel with one of the local auto industry companies. Israeli angel investors Rony Zarom, Ronen Jaffa, Assaf Topaz and Daniel Nazarian were among the investors in the company’s seed round.

Envoy provides on demand community-based shared electric vehicles for apartments, hotels and workplaces, as part of the amenities supplied by the complex. The service includes a car fleet, charging stations, driver insurance and a platform developed by the company to manage the fleet, including a mobile application for the end users which allows them to reserve and access the vehicles.

Ori Sagie (right) and Aric Ohana, co-founders of Envoy. Photo: Envoy Ori Sagie (right) and Aric Ohana, co-founders of Envoy. Photo: Envoy Ori Sagie (right) and Aric Ohana, co-founders of Envoy. Photo: Envoy

The technology includes an engine that collects and reads data, real-time analysis of car usage, collection of car data, and the driver's behavior and associated mobility needs, as well as charging information. The analysis of the data provides micro-mobility solutions and recommendations to add vehicles to fleets according to the demand and use in every complex.

According to the company, the integration of Envoy's service in an apartment complex provides a significant added value to the apartment owners in their efforts to rent out their property. In addition, the service provides an additional channel of income for the owners of the properties due to the revenue sharing model of Envoy's product. The basic cost of rent is 15 cents per every minute of usage, with an option to lease cars of a higher standard at an additional cost.

Envoy currently works with over 100 real estate companies in the U.S. The companies sign long-term contracts with Envoy, which manages and supplies all the mobility and charging infrastructure needs required by the client, and shares with the real estate company the data collected from the vehicles.

The property owners pay a set monthly fee according to the size of the fleet at the premises. The fee covers all operational costs and makes the company profitable even without taking into account its income from the actual vehicles. The tenants pay per minute or day, with that revenue being shared between Envoy and the real estate owners. In addition, the company installs charging stations for private electric vehicles belonging to the tenants. The service is currently being offered in 10 U.S. states and the funding will allow the company to expand its offering.

Envoy was founded in 2017 by Israeli entrepreneur Ori Sagie and his Jewish-American partner Aric Ohana. Sagie has lived in the U.S. in recent years and has been an active tech entrepreneur for the past two decades. He founded Smart IL with his brother Tamir in 2000, with the company being acquired and merged into U.S. company Smart Online in 2004.

Sagie met Ohana while investing in real estate in the U.S., with the two partnering on several investments. The idea to set up Envoy was the result of the experiences the two had in setting up tech initiatives that were meant to provide an improved living experience for tenants.

"Throughout all my years in real estate I continued to take on an active role in related tech projects with the goal of finding solutions and tools to create a better and more advanced living experience," said Sagie. "The idea for Envoy came from the wish to create an added value for the residents, the apartment building and the environment, based on technological services. We live in a world in which you can plan a journey by using shared scooters, a train, Uber and now also Envoy. The combination of these abilities allows to forgo the unnecessary expense of owning a main or secondary private vehicle."

"Envoy broke usage records over recent months," added Ohana. "Our fleets traveled a total of more than one million kilometers and maintained an average of one million minutes a month. The company has the most advanced technology in its sector and the best product understanding. We are set for widespread growth across the U.S. and the world."

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