Honeycomb Network secures £127,000 pre-seed funding from SFC Capital
Investors in this round: SFC Capital
Honeycomb Network, an Imperial College London spinout developing smart charging and storage infrastructure for e-scooters and e-bikes to accelerate micromobility adoption in the UK, has secured £127,000 in pre-seed funding from SFC Capital, the UK’s most active seed stage investor. The funding will support the development of prototypes of the company’s storage and charging pods and rollout of a pilot scheme.
Despite more than 65 per cent of trips made in London being shorter than one mile, and despite car driver and passenger trips having reduced by 33 per cent and 44 per cent respectively, users of e-scooters and e-bikes still face significant challenges moving around the city – specifically when it comes to storing and charging their vehicles.
Honeycomb Network provides safe, high-quality storage pods equipped with intelligent charging units that both securely store micromobility vehicles and extend the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries – and therefore reduce electronic waste – by allowing for fine-tuned remote control of the charging cycle. Given that the battery of e-scooters and e-bikes can account for as much as one-third of the total cost of an e-scooter or e-bike, having healthy and longer-lasting batteries can prevent any need for premature battery replacement and save users unnecessary cost.
Charging pods can be assembled in different configurations to suit the environment where they are placed, making them easy for businesses and local authorities to integrate into any space. Honeycomb Network’s mobile app shows users pod cluster locations and capacity, and also enables them to see and control charging speed and to lock and unlock the pod. Pods are equipped with multiple charging ports for different e-scooter and e-bike brands, so users don’t need to bring their own cables.
Gabriel Yoong, co-founder and CEO of Honeycomb Network, said: “Honeycomb’s vision is to establish a network of storage and charging infrastructure to support micromobility in big metropolises like London. People’s habits and transport choices are changing, and with them so should cities and their infrastructure. We are also trying to bridge the gap between academics working to optimise battery life and companies selling the technology. By merging both sides’ knowledge, we can not only make batteries healthier and more efficient, we also prevent additional amounts of unnecessary electronic waste from being generated.”
Honeycomb Network is the only e-scooter-infrastructure company to receive grant funding from the UK Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles in 2021. It is also participating in the Centre for Climate Change Innovation’s Greenhouse Accelerator programme, and has secured interest in its smart micromobility network from several companies, including Argent LLP and Dash Rides.
Adam Beveridge, Investment Associate at SFC Capital, said: “As we move towards smarter cities, with improved transport and mobility, it’s inevitable that private e-scooters will have their part to play as a genuine, sustainable solution to longer journeys and purposeful travel. With around 500,000 private e-scooter models being sold in the UK in 2020, and a nationwide rollout of numerous e-scooter rental trials, Honeycomb Network represented a timely investment opportunity to get ahead in a market yet to boom, with a product that will be key to the success of the e-scooter ecosystem.”