Octopus to provide InfraFleet with up to £10 million in start-up capital
Octopus Group, a group of entrepreneurs and investors backing the people, ideas and industries that will change the world, today announces it is incubating and investing in InfraFleet. The new company, which launched in 2022, will provide green rental and leased equipment for infrastructure projects.
Started by Chris Medley, a former infrastructure investor, InfraFleet is one of the first companies to focus on providing emission-free construction equipment to the infrastructure industry as it contributes to building the infrastructure necessary for a net zero economy. It will provide electric and hydrogen-powered equipment on both a short- and long-term basis, allowing the customer to benefit from avoiding the cost of diesel fuel, congestion charges and replacing their own equipment. Customers will also be able to lower their carbon footprint, create cleaner communities, and potentially extend their operating hours due to lower noise pollution.
InfraFleet’s customer base will come from contractors delivering essential infrastructure projects and maintenance on behalf of local councils, governmental agencies, government entities such as Network Rail, and key infrastructure providers such as fibre broadband companies.
Octopus will provide InfraFleet with up to £10 million initially, with follow on capital available as the business scales. It will also help the company to grow through entrepreneurial support and advice, access to Octopus-backed infrastructure companies and office space. InfraFleet will also seek bank lenders to provide asset-backed finance.
Chris Medley, Founder, InfraFleet said: “The vast majority of construction equipment runs on diesel. The technology for the electrification of these assets is beginning to come through and customers want it. But the incumbents who are best placed to provide green assets aren’t yet incentivised to do so. Through my role as a private equity infrastructure investor, I was involved in rental businesses, and I saw that customer demand was growing for green leasing equipment.
“We’re a new entrant and we have no diesel assets. InfraFleet is in a position to buy green assets and provide them at an affordable price. We can help end users adopt green technology sooner. With support from Octopus, which has founded and invested in phenomenally successful businesses for more than 20 years, InfraFleet has a huge opportunity to cement itself as integral to the future of the infrastructure industry.”
Lukasz Michalak, Investment Director, Sustainable Infrastructure, at Octopus said: “Chris came to us with an interesting business idea, supporting many sectors we are active in. We immediately saw the potential and how the entrepreneurial ecosystem here at Octopus could support the growth of the business and realise mutual synergies in the process. It was too early stage for our infrastructure investors, so we decided to initially back InfraFleet using our own funds and incubate the company. When it’s mature enough we hope to bring the opportunity to investors who have a lower risk appetite.”
InfraFleet is just one example of the future-focused investments the Sustainable Infrastructure team at Octopus are making.
Robert Skinner, Head of Sustainable Infrastructure at Octopus said: “We’re trying to find the future of infrastructure. We like to back entrepreneurs and businesses that we can really add value to through our existing network of companies and industry specialists. That’s what drew us to Chris and Infrafleet – the vision of the market opportunity combined with obvious ways we can help the company grow and achieve its goals.”
For journalists in their professional capacity only. Issued by Octopus Group January 2023.