ChargeBox has launched a campaign on CrowdCube to help it stay ahead of the competition.

The company, which produces and installs smartphone and tablet charging stations in public and semi-public places, wants to boost its sales and marketing efforts, plus inject some money into development of the next-generation devices.

The company wants to make free charging of devices as prevalent as free Wi-Fi in cafes, restaurants, shopping centres and other places as consumers increasingly rely on their smartphones for everything in life.

ChargeBox was launched ten years ago, but other competitors have now popped up in the market, making it a hard industry to crack.

“Loved by end-users who frequently call ChargeBox a #lifesaver, we have provided over 5 million charges so far this year, and we have built (or have in production) over 2,000 machines,” the company explained.

“Our clients include well-known organisations who wish to provide the best customer experience to their visitors and encourage smartphone use, which is highly correlated with increased spending.”

The company has drummed up a fair amount of revenue from rentals, service contracts, short term event rental, a legacy vending business, and international license and software maintenance fees. It has two patents to protect its designed, but is now seeking the next big thing to differentiate its products.

To help take a bigger share of the market, ChargeBox will be spending the £500,000 it hopes to raise on Crowdcube on expanding the sales team, marketing and PR including events, exhibitions and the employment of PR consultants, R&D expenditure, IT development and to a lesser extent working capital.

ChargeBox is offering 7.2 per cent equity to investors and at the time of writing, was 40 per cent of the way through its funding cycle with 18 days to go until the campaign ends.