The European continent needs urgent climate action to achieve carbon neutrality. Specifically, adopting electric vehicles (EV) for commercial fleets is critical in reaching the Sustainable and Smart Mobility plan’s goal of reducing 90% of transport-related emissions by 2050.
However, the fleet industry suffers from a fragmented market and opacity of supply. The limited visibility of a fleet’s current status, resulting in a lack of accountability and enormous inefficiencies, is compounded by geographical barriers, with fleets having to find regional and local solutions in each market they operate.
This is why we are excited to back Papaya, a UK-based company set to disrupt the status quo of commercial fleets management and power the ecosystem needed to speed up decarbonisation. Since soft launching in February, Papaya has on-boarded more than 1,000 EVs, working with industry leaders like GoPuff, Evri, and Hived. The platform lives in multiple countries, including the UK, Spain, France, and Germany, and plans to expand across every major European city by the end of the year.
Founded by CEO Santi Ureta and CTO Renato Serra, both formerly of Deliveroo, Papaya’s mission is to build Europe’s largest electric vehicle ecosystem and decarbonise European fleets. Launched initially as a vehicle management system to enable fleets to increase utilisation and uptime, and manage all suppliers with one easy-to-use software tool, it has since evolved into a multi-sided platform. Vehicles are connected to both fleets and an array of service providers – from vehicle suppliers to equipment firms, insurance providers, and charging stations – who gain access to a rapidly growing marketplace of new customers and the tools needed to service them.
Papaya co-founder Santi Ureta highlights:
“Papaya is on a mission to electrify Europe’s fleets. We are committed to empowering the electrification ecosystem by removing any barriers and connecting service providers and fleets in one single system, where anyone can plug in; creating market efficiencies instead of just company efficiencies.”
On our investment, Managing Partner Carlos Espinal comments:
“We are excited about Papaya’s holistic approach to sourcing, running, and managing commercial EV fleets. Santi and Renato’s experience in logistics and last-mile delivery and their ambitious vision give them a unique edge to execute their mission to electrify vehicle fleets worldwide, starting with Europe.“
Papaya has raised a $3.5M seed round led by Giant Ventures, with our participation alongside 20VC, FJ Labs, Flexport, and Cocoa. Leading angel investors backing Papaya’s mission include: Sir Richard Branson’s family; Former CTPO of Deliveroo and Monzo, Mike Hudack; former Techcrunch journalist Steve O’Hear; founder of Exponential View, Azeem Azhar; co-founder of Glovo, Oscar Pierre; and co-founder of Onfleet, Khaled Naim.
For more information, visit papayadash.com
Although Tiktok and Instagram are some of the most popular social apps among GenZ, the shopping experiences they offer aren’t that social. Users don’t intend to shop on these apps, and brands have to compete against influencers, meme pages, and various other social personas. Furthermore, checkout isn’t supported in all countries.
That’s why we are excited to back TILT, a next generation social shopping app where users come to discover emerging GenZ brands and shop with their friends. Co-founded in 2021 by early Revolut employees Abhi Thanendran and Neil Shah, Tilt is pioneering the nextgen shopping experience.
Abhi Thanendran shares:
“We saw first-hand what it took for Revolut to grow from 0 to 15m+ users; now we’re focused on building something we’ve always been passionate about: the nextgen shopping experience for young shoppers.”
TILT enables emerging Gen Z fashion brands to add a new dimension to their brand where they can build and connect with communities of like-minded shoppers who can purchase products directly within the app. Brands connect their stores to Tilt in seconds to start creating shoppable videos and livestreams. They can be discovered easily through social mechanics and curated feeds, which give the feeling of shopping with friends.
Users can see products in action and buy directly inside the app without redirection to another website or the need to create accounts for different stores. They can jump into video and live stream rooms created by brands, invite friends, or chat with other shoppers. What better ways to reignite the joy of shopping with friends?
We are excited to participate in Tilt’s $3m funding round alongside Earlybird and TQ Ventures and an exceptional cohort of angel investors, including Alan Chang, Matt Robinson, Vinoth Jayakumar, Charlie Songhurst, Lucas von Cranach, and Dan Westgarth.
Felix Martinez from our investment team comments:
Livestream commerce is not just a buzzy trend in Asia – we think it’s the natural next step in the evolution of online shopping towards an experience which is inherently social at its core. Abhi and Neil have a unique combination of close proximity to their younger target audience mixed with first-hand experience in building a category-defining consumer product used by millions of people every day. It’s clear they have the right DNA as founders for this and we’re excited to be partnering with them on this journey.
With the fresh funding, the founders plan to grow the team and continue building out an interactive solution tailored to the future of GenZ e-commerce.
For further information and to get early access, visit tilt.app.
Electric Vehicle adoption plays a pivotal role in the transition to carbon-free transportation and urban sustainability. However, the process of purchasing low-carbon assets is expensive and complex for consumers.
We are excited to see the Electric Car Scheme, a UK-based salary sacrifice employee benefit startup, accelerate the future of sustainable urban mobility while enabling employees to make more environmentally-conscious decisions when purchasing new cars.
Set up in June 2020 by Thom Groot and Tom Eilon, who found the government’s tax incentive to help employees switch to driving electric cars and go green impossible to access, ECS allows employees to lease electric vehicles at a 30-60% lower price – all at no cost to the employer.
Since the start of the year, the salary sacrifice scheme has grown its customer base five-fold, making electric cars available across hundreds of companies. Many employees who have benefited from the scheme say that the opportunity made the difference between buying a polluting petrol or diesel car and going electric. The company estimates it has reduced as many harmful emissions as one would planting more than 100,000 trees. And it’s just getting started!
Co-founder and CEO of The Electric Car Scheme, Thom Groot says:
“We are ecstatic that so many companies are recognising how easy it can be to offer their employees a great perk and bring down emissions – all at no cost. It’s a real no-brainer.
The consistent feedback we get is that our scheme is the difference between going electric and sticking with fossil fuel cars.”
On our investment, our Managing Partner Reshma Sohoni, comments:
“Starting with electric car purchases, ECS is the catalyst for consumers to make net zero choices easily. The early customer love being shown is a testament to the need for a product like ECS. Furthermore, we think Thom and Tom have the perfect mix of operational expertise to build the company into a category leader and continue enabling the transition to net zero.”
We are excited to participate in Electric Car Scheme’s £2.5m funding round alongside Triple Point Ventures, Adjuvo, Portfolio Ventures, Ascension, Voyager, and a number of high-profile angel investors, including Henry de Zoete, Evelyn Bourke, Phil Chambers, Will Neale, and the Funding Circle co-founders Samir Desai, James Meekings and Andrew Mullinger.
With the new funding, the company plans to continue growing its team, invest in technology, and reach as many employers as possible.
For more information, visit electriccarscheme.com.
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