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30 September 2013

Samsung powers Auckland by Proxi

Auckland spin-out PowerbyProxi attracts $4m from Samsung for wireless power system.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

PowerbyProxi, a spin-out of the University of Auckland developing wireless power systems, has attracted $4m from smartphone manufacturer Samsung.

Making the investment through its venture unit Samsung Ventures Investment Corporation, the smartphone giant joined late into a $9m series C round for the New Zealand-based spin-out, following a $5m investment from energy and data firm TE Connectivity made earlier in the year.

Samsung and PowerbyProxi also announced that the two had entered into a strategic partnership to pursue the development of the spin-out’s technology.

PowerbyProxi is developing consumer-focused wireless power transfer technology, allowing users to charge devices without the need to plug them in. For example, an owner of an electric car could charge their vehicle simply by parking it in their garage. In the case of Samsung, a laptop or smartphone utilising the technology would charge automatically inside a customer’s household whilst in use or on the move.

As part of the deal, SVIC senior investment manager Michael Pachos will join the PowerbyProxi board of directors.

Dicussing the deal, Pachos said: “We believe that wireless power transfer is going to significantly change the way consumers use and interact with their devices at home and on the go. Our investment in PowerbyProxi is consistent with our strategy to work closely with established market leaders. PowerbyProxi is a technology leader and has built a significant business in the wireless power transfer space. The company has demonstrated both a technical and business vision in driving the adoption of wireless power transfer and we look forward to contributing to its progress.”

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