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Monday, November 30, 2009

Better Place Australia raises $25 Million in first round funding

Better Place Australia today announced it has secured an initial round of funding of $25 million for its planned charging and services network for electric vehicles (EVs). The funding round was led by Lend Lease Ventures, the venture capital arm of Lend Lease and included investments by ActewAGL and several private investors.

As the lead seed round investor in Better Place Australia, Lend Lease Ventures will also take a seat on Better Place Australia’s board.

Better Place Australia also today announced that global banking leader, Harrison Young will join its Board as independent Chairman. Mr. Young is currently a member of the Board of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Court of Directors of the Bank of England, Chairman of the Howard Florey Institute Foundation and Deputy Chairman of the Asia Society AustralAsia Centre and Asialink. Mr Young was Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia from 1997-2003 and Chairman of Morgan Stanley Australia from 2003 until he joined the board of the Commonwealth Bank in 2007.

The $25 million in funding represents the first part of Better Place Australia’s five-year plan to raise $1 billion for the deployment of an EV network powered by renewable energy in Australia. Macquarie Capital Group acted as advisors on the fund raising. This initial round of seed funding will finance a range of planning, engineering, demonstration and trial activities in the lead up to the first stage of deployment, which will commence in Canberra in 2011.

“We’re delighted to welcome Lend Lease Ventures as an investor in our Australian business – working with us to help the country take a generational leap forward toward oil independence and sustainability,” said Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place.

“The investment marks our second successful financing in 2009, and we believe it’s indicative of growing interest in Better Place from institutions and far-sighted corporations seeking thematic investment opportunities to fight climate change.”

Evan Thornley, CEO of Better Place Australia, said that Lend Lease Ventures’ investment is another in a growing list of endorsements of the Better Place model for an electric vehicle future.

“The backing of a strategic investor of the calibre of Lend Lease Ventures, our Canberra deployment partner, ActewAGL and some of Australia’s most successful business people is further validation that our plans are appealing to our industry partners and seasoned investors alike. The appointment of a respected business leader in Harrison Young as Chairman adds to the strong endorsement we have received from leaders in the energy, auto and oil industries who have also joined our senior management team in recent months.”

Chief Executive Officer of Lend Lease Ventures Anthony Pascoe said of the partnership, “Significant investment in new renewable energy generation combined with the commercialisation of new technologies and infrastructure solutions are critical to achieving Australia’s renewable energy targets.”

“Lend Lease Ventures’ mandate is to invest in emerging clean-tech companies that complement our global property capabilities and help keep the wider Lend Lease group at the leading edge of the curve in terms of sustainability. We believe that Better Place Australia is well positioned for success and are excited to be partnering with such an innovative and well credentialed organisation.”

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1 comment:

Better Energy said...

Electric cars are maybe the best example of better energy as most of the existing fuels are used for cars.

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