Brooklyn-based company Revel, known for its omnipresent blue mopeds, has secured a whopping $126 million in new support with investment giant BlackRock leading the firm’s second funding round.
Revel will use the cash to expand its network of electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities in New York City and beyond, after opening its first so-called “Superhub” at the former Pfizer plant in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, last summer.
“Urban charging infrastructure is the missing piece that’s kept millions of drivers from making the switch to EVs, and with this funding Revel will be able to build it in cities across the country,” Revel CEO and co-founder Frank Reig said in a statement.
The company is currently working with the city to get its second charging center approved in Manhattan and they are looking at other locations in the city and elsewhere, according to spokesperson Robert Familiar.
BlackRock, a multinational firm based in midtown Manhattan, is the world’s largest money manager with more than $10 trillion in assets.
Representatives for the company along with Toyota Ventures — the automaker’s venture capital arm which increased its previous investment in this second funding round – will join Revel’s board of directors.
“We are pleased to support Revel’s strong growth momentum as it continues to expand its EV charging infrastructure segment and ultimately help reduce carbon emissions in major urban centers,” said Martin Torres, Head of the Americas for BlackRock Renewable Power.
The investment giant has raised billions for renewable power projects, but also made headlines in recent months for its continued investment in fossil fuels, and in 2020 helped pump more than 330 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
The influx of cash is the second investment funding round for Revel after getting $34 million in a first batch in October 2019 led by Colorado-based Ibex Investors.
Revel expanded beyond its battery-powered moped sharing origins by launching an rideshare service with 50 blue-branded Teslas in August after sparring for months with the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission about getting their vehicles licensed.
The Brooklyn charging complex launched earlier in the summer with a glowing endorsement from President Joe Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who joined the opening day event on June 29.
It hosts 25 fast chargers at the rate of 39 cents per kilowatt-hour, which roughly translates to $2 per gallon for gas-powered vehicles, Reig told reporters that day.
The lot is also on the same block as the country’s most sustainable public transit system, the subway, with the G train’s Flushing Avenue station just around the corner.
The facility is open to the public around the clock and any brand of electric vehicle can plug in, but Revel’s rideshare fleet guarantees that it gets used “while consumer and commercial EV use is still growing,” the company’s press release said.
The city’s Department of Transportation in June began its pilot project to set up 120 chargers across the city, and 86 curbside chargers were active as of Dec. 20.
Revel began in 2018 rolling out its moped sharing service in Bushwick, Brooklyn, before expanding to more boroughs and other cities like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Miami.
After a string of deaths on the two-wheelers in the Big Apple during the summer of 2020, the company began diversifying by rolling out an e-bike subscription service in February 2021 opening the EV charging campus in June.