£100m raised to accelerate move to electric vehicles

Electric car subscription service Onto has raised a new credit funding line of £100m to help its mission to push electric car adoption.

Rob Jolly and Dannan O’Meachair

Founded in 2018 by Rob Jolly and Dannan O’Meachair, the Warwick firm has created an all-inclusive subscription that covers insurance, servicing, and public charging at more than 11,000 UK charging points. Subscribers have no deposit to pay, and no long-term commitment alongside the option to swap cars or stop the subscription every month.

The funding from global investment group CDPQ and independent asset manager Pollen Street, will help Onto provide a flexible alternative to the traditional car ownership model.

The £100m asset-backed facility will enable Onto to continue expanding its UK fleet with the latest electric car models. This new facility builds on the existing relationship between Onto and Pollen Street; which has been a finance partner to Onto since July 2021. The facility also represents a new partnership between Pollen Street and CDPQ.

Onto has grown to become the largest electric car subscription service in Europe, with more than 7,000 cars in the UK.

Since Pollen Street’s first facility in 2021, Onto has doubled the size of its electric car fleet, which now includes 25 different car models. The firm has raised £340m in total in equity and debt, most recently completing its £45m Series C raise. In 2022, the business was recognized by Deloitte as the fourth fastest growing UK tech business in its Fast 50 list.

Rob Jolly, Onto CEO & Co-Founder, said: “We’re grateful for the support of Pollen Street and CDPQ – it will turbocharge our UK growth plans and consolidate our position as the leading electric car subscription service.

“This is a pivotal moment for the adoption of electric cars and at Onto we want to make them more accessible and affordable to people who want to make environmentally-conscious choices.

“The opportunity to provide an alternative to car ownership has also never been more desirable – our subscribers benefit from the convenience, flexibility and choice that come with a monthly subscription model.”

In 2022, Onto says its subscribers saved 4.8m litres of petrol, which saved 9,695 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere – the equivalent impact of 164,000 trees over 10 years.

Marc Cormier, Executive Vice-President and Head of Fixed Income at CDPQ, said:  “Onto provides an attractive and comprehensive subscription alternative to access EVs in an industry gaining momentum for environmentally-friendly modes of transportation.

“Building on the experience of investing in other leading asset-backed platforms by our Capital Solutions team—which provides flexible and innovative capital solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies—this financing will support Onto’s growing EV fleet”.

Matthew Potter, Partner at Pollen Street Capital, said:  “Building on our relationship with Onto, we are excited to once again work with a business that has a strong mission to enable access to electric vehicles and encourage the switch to greener mobility.

“This funding will play an important role in supporting Onto’s growth and aligns strongly with Pollen Street’s commitment to investments that drive a positive impact”.