Octa Energy: Charging to the future or How Ukrainians are creating an ecosystem

“This story began for me in the train Kiev — Odessa. It was there I met a man who told me about the Octa project Energy and meet its founders”, — begins the story of the company that creates charging stations for electric vehicles, one of the three owners Alexander Lunev. Alexander Amelkin and Andrew Smialek asked his new friend, the engineer-the engineer who moved in 2014 from the Donbass in Kiev. Launched in 2015

It happened in August of 2015. A little earlier was born the idea of creating charging stations for electric vehicles. Why is this business? “I met a man who was involved in the distribution of electric vehicles, and he spoke about the problem of lack of charging stations. Asked me to make some sort of enclosure where it would be possible to mount the outlet. I thought it would be nice to add something from the electronics, was infected with this idea of Sasha (Alexander Amelkin. — Ed.) and we began to develop the first charging station, says Smialek. — The understanding that there will be a separate business, it was in that moment, when we created a prototype was shown to customers and it became clear that this might have something to happen”.

Entrepreneurs collect charging stations in a small office. Almost all components of Ukrainian, in particular, charges are produced at the facilities of “Ukroboronprom”, the outer case is also in Ukraine. But the electronics have to be imported, as in Ukraine, such components do not produce.

Video: Emma Soldatova What is the uniqueness?

The company understands that on a global scale their charging stations are not an innovation, but in Ukraine such products as electric vehicles still a rarity.

Its competitive advantage the creators Octa Energy said that they do not just charging stations on order, and create the ecosystem of their products.

“In fact it is a single platform on which to build a charging station from budget series to complex business line. If we wanted something fast to make and sell, we would now it was not possible to produce those products,” — explains Alexander Amelkin.

According to businessmen, if many people buy the finished products from foreign manufacturers and then integrate them into the Ukrainian market and sell, they all develop from scratch. Investment and monetization

Initially, the startup funding was from own funds of the founders. “And now, if you need some serious investments, we invest your money”, — says Alexander Amelkin. He and Andrew Smialek continue to engage in parallel businesses that help them support the project. At the same Octa Energy received and the first external infusion — $35 million from the business incubator.

According to estimates of entrepreneurs in the project they have already invested about $300 thousand It is not only money, but equipment, tools, materials, labor.

While the project is at an early stage: sold several hundred devices. First, the company focused their sales to the end consumer, but then went to work with dealers and is now building a dealer network throughout Ukraine.

What is sustainability in business decisions?

100% made in Ukraine, Ukrainian components is 40%. Patented own design. Scalable production and development of its own network of charging stations

Ready to scale

The project team consists of five people. Devices are small-scale, however, according to entrepreneurs, the product is ready to scale. “Now we have a line of products that we produce small batch, but if you want we can produce our products in bulk. They are working documents and licenses,” — said Malkin.

Entrepreneurs are not resting on our laurels, developing new product lines, sometimes by trial and error.

“We have several products that did not. For example, the charging station in the form of a column. They turned out quite beautiful, but the market wasn’t interested. Maybe it’s due to the fact that we offered in late 2015, when the market has not yet formed,” says Alexander Amelkin.

The company plans before the end of the year to release a new line of charging stations that will have minimal functionality, while it can be used at home and in the office.

Ideas for expansion

There are some ideas for extensions and related industries. “For example, a project with solar panels. Is a solar power plant that generates electricity, the surplus can be used for charging electric vehicles. This can be done as two separate products as a single product, such as a gas station with solar panels. It’s such a ekoproekt where there are external sources of electricity,” share plans in the company.

In order to effectively operate and scale the business, the company intends to expand its team, involving employees in the field of software development as well as marketing and management.

Of course, for scaling of the business need investment. The founders of the business ready to attract partners to implement their ideas and even share stake in the company.

But their strategic goal — access to foreign markets, primarily American and European. It plans for 2019. And this year the team will Refine their product and certify it for international markets. Already received offers of cooperation from India and Canada.

For more details about the competition, sustainable business solutions on the website was

Don’t miss the most important news and interesting analysis. I Delo.ua in Telegram