PowerbyProxi signs US deal

FIONA ROTHERHAM
Last updated 15:44 16/04/2013

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Wireless power company PowerbyProxi has sealed a partnership with listed American electronics company TE Connectivity and closed a $5 million funding round.

Under the deal announced this afternoon, TE and PowerbyProxi have formalised a partnership for developing wireless power products.

At the same time, TE took just under a 15 per cent equity stake in the Kiwi start-up through its third funding round, while the 35.2 per cent shareholder, New Zealand venture capital firm Movac, increased its stake closer to 40 per cent.

"When looking at what we wanted out of this series C funding round we were looking for a strategic investor. It's great to have a company this substantive come in as a shareholder," PowerbyProxi executive chairman Greg Cross said.

The $5m in funds will be used to boost the company's international sales and customer support base and speed up development of new technology platforms.

TE Connectivity is a world industry leader in connectivity solutions, and its industrial division based in Germany has already helped PowerbyProxi take one product to market - the ARISO contactless connectivity platform.

This miniaturised product, released in November, integrates into new sensor and control applications for industrial machinery and equipment.

Incorporating PowerbyProxi's wireless power technology, it is 70 per cent smaller than other systems.

The start-up was spun out of the University of Auckland's engineering school, and the university's commercial arm, Uniservices, remains one of its shareholders.

Since then, PowerbyProxi has spent the past five years establishing its pedigree in the wireless power field, producing more than 50 products for about 30 large companies in areas including aerospace, security systems, sensor networks and hydraulic control.

With offices in Auckland and California, the start-up is now ready to go the next step into the consumer market and hopes to become profitable this year.

It has developed the world's only receiver technology small enough to be integrated directly into smartphones, tablets and rechargeable batteries.

Unlike existing wireless power recharging solutions that require devices to be placed in a precise spot on a charging pad, its wireless power transmitter station means you can throw all your devices with a Proxi receiver into one spot at the same time and they will all be recharged.

The Proxi 3D is equivalent to the now ubiquitous wifi modem, the company says.

PowerbyProxi has been negotiating with global consumer electronic manufacturers and hoped to have this technology go to market within the next year.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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