SAN MATEO, Calif. — Mobile fueling provider Booster Fuels plans to expand into new markets and upgrade its tanker fleet thanks to a new round of funding—and investments from Total SA and Enterprise Holdings.
The app-enabled, mobile fueling service announced it has raised $56 million in Series C funding led by Invus Public Equities LP.
Perhaps more noteworthy: Its two newest strategic investors include Total Energy Ventures, the venture capital arm of French energy giant Total SA, and Enterprise Holdings Ventures, the venture capital arm of the parent company for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Between the Series C funding and the two new investors, Booster Fuels has raised $88.5 million.
Solving Pain Points
The Booster Fuels service, which supplies fuel to both fleets and corporate customers, is currently focused on north Texas, including the Dallas-Forth Worth metro area, and California—namely the San Francisco Bay Area, Orange County and Los Angeles. With the cash infusion, it will expand over the next 12 months into the Pacific Northwest and East Coast, where its national fleet customers have fueling needs.
Frank Mycroft, CEO of Booster Fuels, San Mateo, Calif., told CSP Daily News that Enterprise was a fleet customer before it became an investor.
“Booster has demonstrated the ability to address a key operational and logistical challenge for us—fueling vehicles at one of our large airport locations,” said Bob Wetzel, vice president of corporate development for Enterprise Holdings. “The end result is a significant reduction in cost, plus an increase in our efficiency. As a result, we identified the potential of delivering this kind of service on a larger scale nationwide.”
Booster Fuels delivers “millions of gallons” per month in more than 20 cities, and has made more than 2 million fuel deliveries since it was founded in 2015, with most of those occurring in the past 12 months, Mycroft said. It picks up fuel at local refineries “dozens of times” each day. As Booster Fuels has grown, so have the benefits of scale.
“We can be very selective throughout the day on where and who we buy from so we’re getting a competitive price we can pass on to that customer,” Mycroft said. “The larger the scale we have, the greater the ability to get better pricing—but also the greater the flexibility we have.”
To deliver more efficiently, Booster Fuels will be investing some of the millions it has raised into the eighth and ninth generation of GPS-enabled mini fuel tankers, which are cloud-connected and orchestrated with routing software.
Booster Fuels also touts its environmental advantages over traditional gas stations, with no underground storage tanks to maintain or fuel spills to clean up. By providing its fueling service and eliminating customers' trips to gas stations, it also claims to have prevented the release of more than 2.32 million pounds of carbon into the atmosphere, and emitted 26% fewer volatile organic components.
A Total Solution
As a multinational oil and gas company with its own network of fueling sites in Central America, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, Total SA is providing Booster Fuels with “insight, acumen and knowledge” into the energy sector, Mycroft said. It follows in the footsteps of other oil companies such as ExxonMobil, which has invested in and supplies the mobile fueling service Yoshi, and Shell, which is piloting its own mobile fueling service, Shell TapUp, in Houston.
Booster Fuels’ model is to bring fuel directly from the refinery to the end consumer. Could its partnership with Total SA, which has a refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, as well as five around the world, involve some type of supply relationship? Mycroft said there is room for evolution.
“Booster’s gas-station-on-wheels tech platform can revolutionize how fuel gets delivered not just by us but globally,” said Mycroft. He sees application in regions with high-density or aging populations.
“We’ve definitely seen interest from many markets that fit that profile,” Mycroft said. “We’ve also interest from high-growth, emerging markets where the cost of building gas stations amounts to many millions of dollars—we can come in and offer a safer solution with a lower initial investment. It’s great to have multinational partners, Total included.
“Over time, the way we buy fuel does evolve,” he concluded. “But this is more of a strategic partnership where see opportunities in the future, and we’re pretty aligned and want to take advantage of them.