Feb 2024

Interview with Orlin Radev, Founder and CEO of Ampeco – EV Charging Management Software

Category: Innovators & Founders Series

We are delighted to feature leaders reshaping industries, and scaling their business globally, in our Opus Innovators & Founders Series.

Orlin, what convinced you to initiate Ampeco in 2018? 

In 2018, while researching an electric vehicle car-sharing project, I faced the challenge of figuring out how to charge the fleet. At the time, there was no existing charging infrastructure to depend on, creating a need to  develop our own. Initially, I assumed this would primarily involve hardware and contacted various vendors to explore our options. However, I quickly realized that managing EV charging operations effectively would also require a sophisticated software platform. 

As I dug deeper, I was intrigued by the interaction of IT, energy, and mobility, each with its distinct challenges and opportunities. The more I explored, the more I recognized the potential impact of the solutions we could develop for the EV charging sector. 

Drawing on nearly a decade of experience in software development with our current CTO, where we crafted software solutions for startups and large enterprises, I decided to pivot toward my newfound interest in the EV charging sector. Our combined expertise in software development became the cornerstone for AMPECO. We set out to build a robust EV charging platform that would enable EV charging operators to launch, scale, and manage their businesses efficiently. 

What are the biggest opportunities and challenges to CPO software providers at the moment? 

The fast pace of development in the EV charging industry, dictated by market dynamics, technological advancements, and regulatory shifts, creates significant challenges but also remarkable opportunities for CPO software providers.  

As a global player serving customers in over 50 countries, one of our key challenges is meeting diverse use cases and complying with varying regulatory demands across different markets. At the same time, our goal is to identify and implement best-practice approaches that effectively meet these varied needs. To accomplish this, we have organized our team and processes to collect and evaluate insights from the market and customers and quickly incorporate this knowledge into our product development roadmap. 

What will Ampeco focus on with the funds raised on the Series A in 2022? 

When we raised our Series A at the end of 2022, it was to further the advancement of our EV charging management platform and increase our market presence in Europe and the US.  

In line with this strategy, we have established new offices in France, the Netherlands, Germany and the US. We have continued to invest in the development of new features on our platform, increasing the value for our customers – from billing & payments, operations & maintenance to energy management – advancing our offering in many areas.  

The feedback from our clients have been overwhelmingly positive. We have seen our existing customers leveraging the capabilities of our platform to achieve remarkable growth.  

Moreover, we have become the preferred choice for several prominent EV charging networks, who have switched to our platform to grow and scale their operations more efficiently. 

What would be your advice to someone starting an EV Charging or Mobility software company? 

Having founded several companies, including my first one during high school, I have learned a lot through both successes and mistakes, and I am still learning. However, there are a few things that I am convinced make a big difference to your chances of succeeding in starting a new business. 

First, market opportunity is crucial. It must be significant, especially if you aim to make a global impact or build a billion-dollar business. The scale of the market opportunity should align with your aspirations. 

Secondly, the founding team is critical. It is about understanding why you and your founding team are the right people to capitalize on this market opportunity. Be clear on the unique skills and experiences you possess that will drive your success. 

Thirdly, especially in a sector like EV charging or any emerging industry, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the market dynamics and be able to envision future trends, not just the status quo. It is very different doing business in an established industry and in one that is changing rapidly. Industries in flux, like ours, demand a strategic approach that accounts for rapid changes in market dynamics, technology, and regulations. In our case, we have tailored our strategy and business model for where we anticipate the industry will be by 2040. It is all about navigating current changes with a clear vision of the future.