In 2021, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover signed a pledge to stop selling gas and diesel cars after 2035. An electric vehicle (EV) centric future for America feels inevitable. There is only one problem, we don’t have the infrastructure to support it.
The infrastructure required to support gas vehicles was built up gradually over the past century. In order for EV adoption to take hold, we’ll need to build comparable infrastructure in the next few years. While most fossil fuel cars refuel at gas stations, most EVs will refuel at home. This means nearly everyone is going to need an at home charger. As car dealerships are not in the business of home improvement, new EV owners are on their own to figure out charger installation.
We are excited to announce our investment in Treehouse, an electrification company that makes it easy for auto retailers and lessors to provide charger installation at the point of sale. The round is led by Montage Ventures and Trucks VC. The financing includes participation from CarMax, the largest online car retailer, Assurant, a Fortune 500 provider of financing and insurance products to auto dealers, and Holman Automotive, one of the largest privately owned dealer franchises in the US. Together, this group will accelerate Treehouse to national scale.
We first met Eric Owski through our friends at Torch Capital. We were immediately struck by the caliber of Eric and his team, most of whom had spent 5+ years working together in leadership roles on LinkedIn’s $3B Talent Solutions business. Despite successful Big Tech careers, they chose to spend the next chapter of their careers on a mission to combat climate change.
The journey from pre-seed to product-market-fit is seldom a straight line, and Treehouse has been no exception. When we invested at the end of 2021 the company was called Drive, and the product was a concierge marketplace for buying your first EV. We have been impressed by the Treehouse team both in their pace of execution, and their willingness to change tact in service of their mission.
Treehouse exemplifies why we bet on mission driven teams. A mission driven team won’t throw in the towel when times get tough, and they’ll inspire investors and partners to join them along the way. Businesses come and go, missions are enduring. We are excited to continue supporting Eric, Alex, Dan, Jeremy, Arthur, Dana and Liz on their mission to make electrification an easy choice for Americans, starting with EV charging. Our planet depends on it.