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Samsung makes first NZ investment, in world-first wireless tech

Monday 30th September 2013

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Global telecommunications giant Samsung of Korea has taken a stake in Kiwi wireless power system innovator PowerbyProxi, investing $4 million in a deal to start licencing the firm's consumer electronics and home appliance wireless power technology.

The strategic partnership is a huge win for PowerbyProxi, a spin-out company from University of Auckland's School of Engineering, based in the city's Freeman's Bay.

It is not only the first investment in New Zealand technology by Samsung, the global mobile technology market leader from Korea that is knocking Apple off its perch for the smartest smartphones, but also its first in investment in wireless power technology, an area of enormous commercial promise.

"This brings the total value of the company's Series C financing to over US$9 million following an announcement earlier this year that PowerbyProxi had raised $5 million from TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) and existing investor, Movac," said PowerbyProxi chief executive and chairman Greg Cross.

PowerbyProxi owns a suite of 126 patents, which Samsung says makes the Auckland company a global leader in wireless technology. Its credibility has been boosted in global discussions by the University's worldwide reputation for leadership in wireless technology.

The investment vehicle for new $4 million injection is Samsung Ventures Investment Corp, which will be represented on the PowerbyProxi board by Michael Pachos, senior investment manager at Samsung Ventures America.

"Receiving this investment from the world's leading consumer electronics brand is a clear endorsement of our wireless power IP portfolio," said Cross. "Samsung's shareholding reinforces our leading position in wireless power transfer and will help us both serve our customers better."

Unlike other wireless power companies, PowerbyProxi's business is focused on two consumer electronics and industrial applications, Cross said.

"The investment from SVIC is a strategic complement to PowerbyProxi's relationship with TE Connectivity, one of the largest and most influential companies in the industrial connector markets," said Pachos in a statement.

"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."

The company says its products allow the wireless and efficient transfer of electricity in consumer electronic and industrial products, "in the most difficult places," ranging from a miniaturised receiver inside a AA battery or vital components in a wind turbine.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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