Powermat scores Jay-Z and $30m in financing
Investment in startup will be Goldman Sachs's second recent such move with ties to an Israeli company.
Israeli startup Powermat Technologies is completing a new round of financing to the tune of $30 million, led by investment bank Goldman Sachs. The company declined to either confirm or deny the report.
The investment in Powermat, which as its name implies develops and manufactures charging mats for electronic devices, will be the bank's second recent such move with ties to an Israeli company. Goldman Sachs last month led a $40 million investment round, together with Jerusalem Venture Partners, in Erel Margalit's Cyber-Ark Software.
It is difficult to determine exactly how much money Powermat has raised over the years. Company officials have put in serious face-time with representatives from a number of private investment funds and flush families looking for a place to park their money and watch it grow. Industry observers believe that a family office - an investment fund that specializes in managing the wealth of a single individual or family - put $7.5 million into Powermat in 2011.
According to Israel Venture Capital, Powermat raised around $30 million prior to 2011, from sources that included Ron Ferber, Richard Stone and General Motors Ventures. The company's revenues are also unknown, but in June of last year it received a special industry award after passing the $100 million sales milestone.
Powermat's flagship product is a mat that charges smartphones and other devices wirelessly, just by laying them on the mat.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas, Powermat Technologies announced the creation of Duracell Powermat, a joint venture between the Israeli company and Procter & Gamble's Duracell brand of batteries.
The company also announced the signing of a new spokesman and investor - rapper Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter. The size of the Grammy winner's investment was not mentioned.
At the trade show, Powermat Technologies also announced a partnership with New York's Madison Square Garden. The Manhattan arena will be outfitted with the company's charging mats for use by visitors.
Last year, Powermat struck a deal with General Motors to install its wireless charging technology in the Chevy Volt. "Our mission is to populate the universe with access points in any surface surrounding us in a way that you, as a user, will forget that you even have a battery in your devices," Powermat Technologies CEO Ron Poliakine said.
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