Easee secures new investment and restructures for long term viability
Easee can confirm it has secured fresh capital. Existing investors and the founders have invested a total of 60 MNOK to get Easee back as Europe’s most influential electric car charging company. In addition, Jonas Helmikstøl is stepping down as general manager and joining the board.
Five years have passed since the founders Steffen Mølgaard, Jonas Helmikstøl and Kjetil Næsje sold their first charger. Since then, over 700,000 charging boxes from Easee have been sold in 23 countries.
The past six months have been challenging, and the company has had to introduce several measures after the products Home & Charge were banned from sale in Sweden in March.
It is essentially the three existing external investors, Wiski Capital, Dristi Capital and Montin, who, together with the founders, are now investing in Easee again.
– The company has previously proven that it is a powerful organization and a product that the market wants. We believe the painful experiences of the last few months will make Easee come back as a stronger and better company, and that is something we want to be a part of and therefore we are investing capital, says Nils Thomas Lien of Montin.
A vote of confidence
CFO of Easee, Roger Weibell, says that the company sees the investment as a vote of confidence:
– This gives us a better outlook for the future and is a vote of confidence from the founders and investors. We have also put in place good agreements with many creditors, together this strengthens our position with regards to the upcoming product launch which is very important to rebuild Easee, says Roger Weibell, CFO of Easee.
Easee wishes to highlight the support and cooperation from partners and creditors, who have shown confidence and faith in the company. It has been and still is crucial to getting the company through recently.
Work is still being done to reach agreements with remaining creditors. For six months the company has been working in parallel on the upcoming product launch, with a new documentation package.
Despite several positive developments, the company still needs to implement several measures to further streamline operations by restructuring the organization.
Jonas Helmikstøl steps aside as CEO
Since the start in 2018, Jonas Helmikstøl has been at the forefront, while Easee has achieved tremendous growth. He is now stepping aside as CEO.
– I have invested a lot of time and energy in this company, but it feels good to make this choice. It has been difficult to let go, but I strongly believe that this is a solid step in the right direction, says Helmikstøl.
Helmikstøl is not leaving the company. He will continue to be employed at Easee together with the other founders. Helmikstøl joins the board where founder Kjetil Næsje is also a member. Helmikstøl also retains his shareholding.
– I have gone a few rounds both with myself and others to come to this decision. I am proud of what we have managed to build and of having led Easee through the most demanding time in the company’s history.
A replacement for Helmikstøl will not be in place until October at the earliest, until then he will continue to serve as CEO.
– Now that the company is entering a new phase, it is right for both me and Easee that someone else takes over the baton, someone who is better suited to structuring and stabilizing the company, says Helmikstøl.
Easee conducts downsizing
As part of the restructuring, Easee has today notified employees of a downsizing process.
– This measure was something the leadership team and the board wanted to avoid as far as possible, and we have done everything we could. Absolutely all stones have been turned over, but unfortunately this measure must be taken to secure Easee’s future, says Helmikstøl.
The downsizing will have an impact on the employees in Norway and the foreign subsidiaries of Easee.
Around 200 positions will be held within Easee Group, bringing the company down to around 150 employees. There are around 30 positions in the UK, 35 in Germany, 5 in France, 17 in the Netherlands and 138 positions in Norway respectively that are at risk.
– The company has been in a challenging situation for some time now and it has been straining for both the people and the organization. Many have been prepared for this to happen, but for a lot of employees it is very difficult. It is understandable that this is a necessary measure for Easee, but of course we would like the situation to be different, says employee representative, Siri Raustein.
Helmikstøl, is open about this being a difficult day:
– It hurts to have to say goodbye to so many wonderful people who have given everything for Easee to get through this. I have done my very best and worked harder than ever to prevent this from happening, but unfortunately it was not enough. I feel for everyone affected and wish we weren’t in this situation. I’m really sorry. This is also one of the reasons why it is right for me to step aside, says Helmikstøl.
Chief People Officer, Atle Sørvåg emphasizes that this is a sad day for everyone in Easee, and that many feel a great sense of uncertainty.
– I fully understand that the next few weeks are going to be challenging for our employees. We will do what we can to take care of everyone in this difficult time ahead and will ensure that this process is carried out in a good and correct manner, says Sørvåg.
Continued process in Sweden
The Swedish Elsäkerhetsverket imposed a sales ban in Sweden in March, and now the case will be tried before the court. Easee has dialogue with the authorities in Norway and other countries, and is working hard to update the documentation.
Easee maintains that anyone with an Easee charger can charge safely, and that we would never let anyone charge with an unsafe charger.
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