XPND Capital has closed on a $75 million fund to invest in sustainable and electric transport. It’s first two orders of work were investments in Teo Taxo, an all-electric taxi service, and Lion Bus, a maker of electric school buses.
According to PE Hub’s Kirk Falconer, the initial close happened last year, at $52 million. It was expected to raise to $70 million, and ultimately reached higher. Les Affaires’ Julien Brault wrote that the new fund, called XPNDCROISSANCE, received commitments of $15 million from the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, $15 million from Investissement Québec, $10 million from the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and $5 million from Fondaction CSN.
“The fund now has all the necessary resources to support innovative companies that have the potential to create quality jobs and become part of the next generation of large successful companies in Quebec,” said Alexandre Taillefer, a managing partner at XPND Capital.
XPND Capital, pronounced “Expand Capital,” will also seek to invest in innovative industries, and technology, media and entertainment.
There’s no doubt that XPND Capital’s first two investments have signalled a firm willingness to go green in transport. Taillefer told Les Affaires that any vehicle consuming more than $10,000 to $15,000 annually in fuels could be replaced by an electric vehicle. That being said, XPND will invest “close to $20 million” in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Brault pointed out that a weak Canadian dollar and slumping oil prices could affect XPND’s grand visions. Taillefer told the newspaper that he hopes that these factors won’t affect the electrification of driving, and that Quebec’s provincial government should consider establishing a floor price at $1.50 per litre.
As for future investment plans into startups, Dominic Becotte, a partner at XPND Capital said the group is currently evaluating several “promising” projects.
“The initial investments made by XPNDCROISSANCE have already served to support the first phases of the launch of Téo, our innovative electric taxi project, and helped to support the growth of Lion Bus, a manufacturer of electric school buses.”