The investment arm of General Motors has made its first investment in Israel. General Motors Ventures has invested $5 million in start-up company Powermat, which has developed a mat on which up to three electronic devices can be charged simultaneously, and wirelessly.
The capital raised by the company will help it to accelerate its technological development and to broaden its activity worldwide. According to IVC data, Powermat has raised $25 million to date, including the current round. Other investors in the company are Richards Stone and Ron Ferber. Powermat employs 60 people at its development center in Neve Ilan and in Detroit.
Powermat was founded in 2007 by Ran Poliakine, its CEO. According to Poliakine, the company's technology provides "power transmission that is safe, efficient, and that does not waste energy."
Powermat first exhibited its product in January 2009, at CES. At the beginning of 2010, Poliakine told "Globes" that in 2009 the company sold about 750 thousand units in the US. It expected to reach sales of 5 million units in 30,000 stores by the end of 2010.
Yesterday, Powermat and General Motors announced at CES 2010, which officially opens today in Las Vegas, that they had signed a commercial agreement that would enable charging of personal electronic devices wirelessly in future General Motors vehicles, starting in 2012. The first car to feature the Israeli start-up's product will be the electrically powered Volt.
Gil Golan, director of General Motors' Advanced Technical Center Israel, who also heads General Motors Ventures in Israel, said, "The company believes in Israel as a center of technological innovation, and it is no coincidence that Israel was chosen along with the Silicon Valley center to lead the activity of General Motors Ventures." He said he estimated that a substantial share of the fund's activity would be directed towards investment in Israeli technology companies. "We are examining several additional companies, and I believe that some of them will mature to investment in the coming months," he added.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 6, 2011
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