Imperial College London

Electric Vehicle 'super app' founded by Imperial alumni raises £920,000

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Eliot Makabu and Patrick Reich, co-founders of Bonnet, pose near an Electric Vehicle charging point

Bonnet was founded by alumni Eliot Makabu and Patrick Reich (MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

Bonnet, a startup focused on improving the experience of electric vehicle drivers, has raised a £920,000 pre-seed round.

Bonnet, a startup focused on improving the experience of electric vehicle drivers, founded by Imperial alumni, has raised a £920k pre-seed round from investors including the Imperial College Innovation Fund (ICIF).

Bonnet has launched a mobile app that aims to eliminate range anxiety for electric vehicle drivers by granting access to EV charging points away from home. It combines locating, routing and paying for EV charging across the range of available charging infrastructure – public, semi-public and even private.

Launched in January 2021, Bonnet offers customers confidence in accessing chargers along their journey, transparent pricing and reliable real-time information on charger availability. Over 30,000 charging locations are listed on the app and the company has launched partnerships with fleet and rideshare companies including FreeNow, Porsche and Green Tomato Cars.

ICIF has invested £300,000 in Bonnet Electric as part of a £920k pre-seed round from investors including Ascension Ventures, Axel Springer Porsche and Business Angels.

ICIF invests in startup companies with a strong connection to Imperial College London, such as those founded by students, members of staff or alumni, or companies which have engaged extensively with Imperial’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Bonnet was founded in 2020 by Imperial alumni Patrick Reich and Eliot Makabu (MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering), following the completion of their studies, which focused on electricity balancing and storage.

Patrick Reich, CEO and Co-founder of Bonnet, said: “Our vision for Bonnet is to develop a super app that supports electric vehicle users to do everything they need to make EV ownership better. Securing access to charging away from home is the first step. Our focus following this funding round is to grow our userbase and bring on board more Charging Point Operators, in order to continue validating with customers.”

Brijesh Roy, Seed Investment Manager at Imperial College London, said: “Patrick and Eliot are young entrepreneurs who have built successfully on their scientific training and the entrepreneurial support available across Imperial College London. As well as supporting EV owners, Bonnet’s vision of improving access to EV infrastructure supports Imperial’s sustainability goals, and we are delighted to support this exciting business through its seed funding round.”

Bonnet is available for download on both App Store and Play Store. Use the code “HELLO” when registering to get a month of free charging!

Bonnet and Imperial College London

Following Master’s study in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Patrick and Eliot, the founders of Bonnet, took part in the Venture Catalyst Challenge and worked closely with the Enterprise Lab and mentoring services to develop their business.

Drawing on expertise from across Imperial and Industry, Bonnet’s advisors include Professor Goran Strbac, Professor of Power Engineering at Imperial, Jochen Rudat, a former director of Tesla Europe, and Dr Harveen Chugh, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Warwick.

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Gavin Reed

Gavin Reed
Enterprise

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