Startup Central Eurasia talked to fouders Joseph Ali and Nikoloz Peradze about the idea of their portable battery rental company.
Joseph and Nikoloz see a problem that phones are used longer than batteries are meant to last for. Moreover, the phones given 5G chips use 2.5x more power than 4G. A portable charger service provided for rent from a kiosk will become a solution.
As the founders claims, while it is already popular service in Asia, in other geographies this industry is in its beginning stages with significant potential for market share. «Our service consists of 8, 24, and 48-slot stations that will allow users to rent a battery pack from kiosks located in public places and charge their cell phones and portable devices on-the-go», – fouders explain.
— How long did it take to reach the prototype or MVP? What did you encounter?
It took about 5 months to reach prototype. Encountered a lot of unexpected network issues with AWS and communication barriers between manufacturers, engineers, and founders. Pilot & beta ongoing, launching full-scale national install in the Republic of Georgia in Q1 2023.
— How do you monetize your product?
Customers rent chargers for a small fee. Viocharge collects the small fee from customers. Our target consumers might be anyone who uses a smartphone and is away from home, their chargers, or a charging outlet.
— What particular results do you have?
Our chinese company was first to move, and in China, went from formation in 2017 to IPO at a $1BN valuation in April 2021.
— How many people are working in the startup?
Two full-time founders, and some fractional interns. Now we are looking for a full-time CTO and the 3rd co-founder.
— Have you already raised any investments?
Yes – small friends and family helped us raise about $15,000, and another part ~$30,000 was contributed by us. Currently on a $1.1MM raise to support the deployment of 500 machines in the Republic of Georgia.
— What's next? Tell us about your future plans.
We plan to take over Georgia, then continue repeating execution plan in other large cities Westward in Europe and USA. We've partnered with a strategic investor based in Eastern Europe with significant reach, influence, and expertise in the shared economy who is credited with launching and successfully exiting the first e-scooter business in Caucasia.
Viocharge is securing 100+ LOIs from businesses to install on premise, positioning the Company to quickly implement a robust network of over 300 locations at the launch of operation, expanding to 500 by month 6 in 2 major cities in the country of Georgia. We plan to continue expanding using the rinse & repeat model in other geographies, setting up local companies in each country.