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1 November 2013

WiTricity powers up with $25m

MIT spin-out WiTricity, which is developing wireless power transfer, secures $25m from new and existing investments, including Intel and Foxconn.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

WiTricity, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology spin-out commercialising wireless power transfer technology, has raised a $25m series E.

Support from the latest round came from computing giant Intel’s venture unit Intel Capital and through electrical component manufacturer Foxconn, as well as support from unnamed new and existing backers. The series E brings the total investment in WiTricity, which has now secured 50 patents, to $45m.

The funding will be used to support the US-based company’s growth strategy as it looks to design products for wireless charging in consumer, automotive, defence, and medical fields.

Analysts from IMS Research predict that the global market for wireless power will grow at 86.5% annually, and be worth $4.5bn by 2016. WiTricity is poised to play a leading role in cornering the market as both the inventor of highly resonant wireless power transfer and with partnerships with multiple manufacturers, including Audi, Mitsubishi, Delphi, Haier, IHI, MediaTek and Thoratec.

Developments in the wireless power field have increased rapidly since 2007 when WiTricity demonstrated lighting a bulb at 40% efficiency wirelessly from a distance of two metres. However, research into the field can be traced back as far as 1891 when inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla demonstrated wireless energy transmission through electromagnetic induction.

Eric Giler, chief executive at WiTricity, said: “WiTricity’s vision is to usher in a world where wireless power is so ubiquitous, you never have to think about plugging in again. In securing this funding from our investors we are even more effectively positioned to fulfil that vision and deliver game-changing wireless technology to partners and customers around the globe.”

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