Accelerate - March 2014

Un-plugging the future

Venture-backed University of Auckland spinout PowerbyProxi is leading the world in the development of wireless power solutions.

PowerbyProxi’s vision is for an unplugged world, where wireless charging will allow spatial freedom in our homes and workplaces and the three pin plug will be a thing of the past.

“Consumers have a deep desire to charge portable electronics anywhere and anytime. Wireless power is not only going into consumer devices and batteries but also into our automobiles and manufacturing plants,” says Greg Cross, co-founder and CEO of PowerbyProxi.

PowerbyProxi’s wireless charging solutions include a charging pad that allows multiple devices to be charged anywhere on its surface and a 3D charging cavity, ideal for charging irregularly shaped objects and wearable devices.

In the past year alone, the company has signed major technology licensing agreements with heavyweights in the consumer electronics and industrial markets, including Samsung Electro-Mechanics, New York-listed electronics giant TE Connectivity and global semiconductor company Texas Instruments.

Co-founder Fady Mishriki, the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Tesla Officer says, “Designers of end equipment want wireless power interoperability. PowerbyProxi’s wireless power technologies can work across any standard being used and developed globally.

“Companies that license our technology can use our expertise and IP to provide new capabilities to their innovative new products. Target customers include battery and semiconductor suppliers, OEMs/ODMs and system integrators.”

PowerbyProxi was spun out of the University of Auckland in 2007 and now holds a comprehensive portfolio of over 180 patents worldwide. Venture backing has been provided by Wellington-based Movac, and last year the company also secured US$4m of investment funding from Samsung Ventures, and US$5m from TE Connectivity.

PowerbyProxi has also received investment and support from Callaghan Innovation, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Last year PowerbyProxi grew from 22 to 60 staff and the company expects to keep growing at the same rate this year. The company’s engineering headquarters in Auckland are supported by a US head office for business development, sales and marketing in Silicon Valley. This year the company expects to open its first international Product Development Centre in China.

Cross says, “We’ve achieved a lot in six and a half years. We started with world-leading research ideas and now we’re an internationally recognised leader in wireless power innovation, working with multi-billion dollar companies with tens of thousands of employees.

“We’re very proud of the fact that we’re developing a New Zealand technology company with global potential.”

Read more about PowerbyProxi.

Updated: 7 September 2015