Israeli startups get another reminder that corporate venture capital may be a good friend as Israeli venture capital funds are struggling to attract funding. GM Ventures, General Motors’ venture capital arm has invested $5 million in Powermat, manufacturer of wireless charging mats for cell phones and other electronic devices. GM plans to include the mats in vehicles as soon as 2012. The GM venture arm was set up in June 2010, with a fund size of $100 million, dedicated for companies developing auto-related technologies.
How does it work?
Communication between the Mat and the Receiver allows the mat to deliver an exact amount of power for the proper length of time so that the transfer of power is safe and efficient and no energy is ever wasted. In order to get charged, the mobile phones require a silicon chip provided by PowerMat. The company is working with mobile phone manufacturers to get them included in some new phone models.
Powermat, headquartered in the US. with research and development in Israel and production in China. According to Detroit Free Press the investment by GM Ventures was done for an equity stake with an undisclosed period of exclusivity, after which GM has agreed to let Powermats be installed in other automakers’ cars. GM is also exploring a wireless mat that would allow electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt to charge once they park over it.
As a result of this investment, Power mat will have to change at least one question in its FAQ:
Here’s a demo of PowerMat’s products from Fox news: