A 24-year-old entrepreneur from Wokingham is celebrating the success of his million-pound tech company, two years on from its launch.
Hugo Tilmouth- who studied Renewable Energy Engineering at Exeter University- innovated his phone charging initiative ChargedUp following a light bulb moment during a cricket match.
The CEO said: “I was sitting at Lord’s Cricket Ground waiting for a call to come in about a job offer and my phone battery was running low – the ultimate panic situation. I had to leave the match to go and buy a charger.”
“In that moment it occurred to me how great if would be if you could rent a portable charger from somewhere when your battery is running low.”
Since its launch, ChargedUp has thrived into a network of 15,000 power banks doted across communal spaces in London.
By scanning a unique code, customers can unlock a battery from one of the power banks, charge their phone, and return it to any station on the ChargedUp network at the end of the day.
And with a hire charge of just £1 per hour or a maximum of £3 for the day, it is no surprise that the initiative has bolted to the top of the market.
Its founder said: “Running out of charge is actually a universal problem, no matter your age, gender or social background.
“The locations of ChargedUp stations ranges from Pubs, Universities, WeWork buildings, to M&S stores, ensuring they are easily accessible for all demographics.”
Talented Hugo also credits the help of two investors in the scheme’s early stages of success. He said: “With the support of our capital partners Jerry Stokes and Daedalus we built a strong team with complementary skill sets to help us scale rapidly and launch the business.”
The first of the 1,500 ChargedUp power stations was installed at Big Chill music bar on Brick Lane, London- a venue close to the team’s headquarters.
Describing the experience of the first installation, Hugo said: “It only took around 30 minutes for someone to use the charging station. With no education or reference points, as we are the first people to do this in the U.K. – that was a very exciting moment.”
And as well as offering a helping hand to commuters, the tech project also holds a global objective close to its heart. Not only has the team partnered with a green energy provider for the recycling of its batteries, but by encouraging Londoners to share power banks, it is helping to keep the demand of lithium low.
The businessman said: “It’s the responsibility of all businesses to ensure they have the least environmental impact possible. We thought it was not an optional element of forming a new company.”
Ahead-of-the-game Hugo also gives readers a glimpse of what is next on his agenda.
He said: “We are expanding across the U.K. rapidly and moving into more and more cities. We are now at 1500 venues and expect to reach 2500 by the end of the year.
“Hopefully one day we will be able to launch in Wokingham also.”
For more information on ChargedUp log on to chargedup.green.