CPPIB invests in electric vehicle company, Caisse in travel tech

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is buying shares in ChargePoint Inc., an electric vehicle infrastructure company, as part of a US$240 million funding round led by Quantum Energy Partners.

“ChargePoint provides an attractive opportunity to invest in a market-leading business with room for expansion that aligns with our growing focus on the energy transition,” said Avik Dey, managing director, head of energy and resources at CPPIB, in a news release. 

Read:  CPPIB looks to cash in on ‘disruption’ and shifts in technology, demographics

The investment will help the company, which owns and operates a global electric vehicle charging network, expand its energy offerings beyond electric vehicles to electric buses, trucks and fleets. The transaction will also expand the CPPIB’s investment strategy to focus on emerging technologies that are set to play a critical role in the energy sector.

In other investment news, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is buying shares totalling $200 million in a travel technology company based in Montreal from private equity firm TA Associates. 

Plusgrade provides ancillary revenue to global travel providers with software that markets unsold inventory to customers who want to upgrade their airline seats.

Read: Caisse posts 3.3% return for first half of 2018, despite volatility

“Plusgrade has a unique and innovative business model that is revolutionizing practices in its industry,” said Mathieu Gauvin, senior vice-president of Quebec at Caisse, in a press release. “Meeting an airline industry need, their products have been quickly marketed around the world in the last few years.”

The company’s roots in Canada made it an appealing investment for the Caisse, according to Gauvin. ”This investment is aligned with our strategy of supporting the growth of Quebec companies that prioritize innovation to drive their international development.”

Established in 2009, Plusgrade has since expanded by working with a variety of international travel companies, including Air Canada, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. The Caisse’s investment will increase its value to more than $600 million, allowing the company to expand its offerings and enter new international markets.

Read: Canadian pensions have healthy liquidity despite alternative investments: report