Christopher Adams

The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Samsung buys stake in Kiwi tech firm

Greg Cross.
Greg Cross.

New Zealand wireless charging start-up PowerbyProxi has secured $4 million in funding from the venture capital arm of South Korean technology giant Samsung.

The Auckland-based company has developed wireless charging pads for consumer devices such as smartphones and television remotes, as well as technology for industrial applications including wind turbines and manufacturing plants.

PowerbyProxi chairman and chief executive Greg Cross said the funding from the Samsung Ventures Investment Corporation would enable the firm - which has recently doubled its staff headcount to 50 - to keep investing for growth and developing new technology.

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

PowerbyProxi said Samsung's cash injection brought the total value of its Series C funding round to $9 million, after a $5 million investment by New York-listed TE Connectivity and Wellington-based investment fund Movac this year.

As part of the investment, Samsung Ventures' Michael Pachos had joined PowerbyProxi's board, the company said, adding that it was Samsung's first investment in the wireless charging industry. Samsung Ventures holds a 12.5 per cent stake in the New Zealand company, according to the Companies Office.

"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," Pachos said.

"Our investment in PowerbyProxi is consistent with our strategy to work closely with established market leaders."

PowerbyProxi has also announced a strategic partnership with Samsung Electro-Mechanics, a producer of integrated components for electronics devices, which will use the Kiwi firm's technology under licence.

PowerbyProxi's technology utilises a process called magnetic induction. The company was spun out of the University of Auckland almost six years ago.

- NZ Herald

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