Starbucks will install Powermat Technologies’ charging stations at its coffee chains and Teavana tea stores in the United States, the Seattle-based company said Thursday. Starbucks expects to launch the project on a pilot basis this year.
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The charging stations will be rolled out first in the San Francisco area and eventually at all company-owned Starbucks and Teavana locations across the United States.
Israel’s Powermat Technologies, based in Neveh Ilan near Jerusalem, makes wireless charging equipment for mobile devices.
“Stores will be equipped with designated areas on tables and counters where customers can place their compatible device and charge wirelessly,” Starbucks said in a statement, adding that select Starbucks stores in Boston and San Jose were already equipped with the system.
The Israeli technology is actually being provided by Duracell Powermat, a partnership between Powermat and Procter & Gamble’s Duracell battery division, the product of a cooperation agreement forged in early 2012.
In September that year, Powermat was valued at $330 million, before Bank Leumi’s investment arm, Leumi Partners, injected $11 million into the venture for a 3% stake. Six months earlier, U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs put in $30 million.
Powermat has attracted funding from a diverse range of investors since its founding in 2006; it is thought to have taken in more than $80 million. Its investors include General Motors and the American rap singer Jay-Z, who serves as a company pitchman. Powermat’s chief executive is Ran Poliakine.