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Imperial spin out raises cash for wireless charging

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty


Bumblebee Power in London has raised £750,000 (€880,000) in a seed round to commercialise its lightweight, high frequency wireless charging technologies for transport and mobility applications.

The startup was founded by a team of academics who developed the technology at Imperial College London’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the investors include the Imperial College Innovation Fund.

Bumblebee Power has developed highly efficient wireless charging technology that, when compared with existing solutions, offers three times the size of air gap, three times the tolerance to misalignment and inter-operability between different vehicles from a common transmit unit. The weight is typically less than 20 percent of similar products and significantly lower cost, Bumblebee believes its technology could create a step-change in a range of areas.

“Bumblebee provides the only wireless charging solution that delivers the lightweight, wide power range and freedom of position performance that users really want. Our offering will transform wireless charging from a nice-to-have to a must-have technology across multiple markets,” said Dr David Yates, Co-founder of Bumblebee Power and co-inventor of the underlying technology.

The funds raised in this seed round will support initial field trials for a wireless charging system for e-mobility vehicles, scale-up to 7kW power capability and product development for a number of potential customer requirements.  

Brijesh Roy, Seed Investment Manager at Imperial, said: “Wireless power transfer is an essential enabling technology to unlock the power of mass electrification, and I am delighted that Imperial College Enterprise Funds has invested in Bumblebee Power, an Imperial startup well-placed to make substantial progress in this area.  As well as being underpinned by leading-edge research, Bumblebee has taken a customer-focused approach to its development to date, resulting in practical technologies and traction with partners.”

In addition to transport related applications Bumblebee’s technology could provide automatic power charging for mobile devices such as laptops, phones and peripherals.

Since 2020, Imperial has worked with fund manager Parkwalk Advisors to operate EIS funds backing early-stage startups from the College. Imperial’s Startups and Investments team is working to build these funds as the core of the College’s investments alongside a growing investor network.

www.imperial.ac.uk

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