Tech firm Petalite seeks funding to develop a portable battery for smartphones
A Birmingham technology firm is seeking £300,000 of equity investment to significantly expand its operations and put its smartphone life-extending portable battery into mass production.
Innovation Birmingham Campus-based start-up Petalite has already raised $59,000 via a successful crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.com. The campaign in February was supported by 1,000 investors from across the globe.
In October last year the firm received £9,500 from Innovation Birmingham’s Climate KIC Low Carbon Accelerator programme to develop its work.
The start-up is developing a pocket-sized battery that provides 2,600mAh of power, enabling the charge of any USB compatible device on the go. Once depleted, it claims the battery recharges in only 15 minutes. The Petalite battery could ensure that smartphones don’t go flat, thereby prolonging battery life and extending the overall lifetime of the device.
The indiegogo funds have been used to redesign elements of the portable battery. The start-up has also identified 12 component manufacturers in France, the USA, China and Thailand and the first 1,100 Petalite batteries are scheduled for delivery in October.
Leigh Purnell, founder and inventor of Petalite said that portable batteries are commonplace now, but a Petalite battery is much more efficient, as the core principle is rapid charging, and that this is reflected in the number of patent applications the company has pending.
“We were overwhelmed by the success of our indiegogo campaign at the start of the year, which raised 153% of the funding goal. The premium nature of a Petalite device resonates with the target audience,” he said.
“We have spent nearly 12 months on the prototyping phase and are now ready to embark on full commercialisation of Petalite. For this to be possible we require £300,000 of equity investment, either from venture capitalists, or angel investors.”
The company is aiming to launch the battery, together with mains-powered rapid-charging docking stations, to the online retail market later this year, priced from £20.
Katharine Fuller, Innovation Birmingham’s senior project manager for EU Projects said: “Leigh is a natural entrepreneur, who has the ambition and determination to make a success of his invention. Although there are other products with some similarities on the market, Leigh can instantly demonstrate how the Petalite battery is so much more efficient, eco-friendly and cost-effective.
“Innovation in hardware has been the big trend in the low-carbon and tech sectors this year, which Petalite perfectly epitomises. It has been one of the stand-out products across our European-wide Low Carbon Accelerator programme.”