Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Imperial College London start-up raises £750k to commercialize wireless charging technology


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: December 8th, 2021

A start-up from Imperial College London (ICL) has raised £750,000 (nearly $1M) in seed funding to commercialize a novel wireless charging technology.

Bumblebee Power has developed a lightweight, efficient wireless charging system for a range of devices including e-scooters, drones, and electric cars. The technology could also be used to power mobile devices like phones and laptops.

With electric vehicles on the rise, there is a growing need for solutions to reduce reliance on battery-swapping and cable-charging, which are not always practical or efficient. 

“Bumblebee provides the only wireless charging solution that delivers the lightweight, wide power range and freedom of position performance that users really want,” says David Yates, researcher at ICL and co-founder of Bumblebee alongside ICL professor Paul Mitcheson. “Our offering will transform wireless charging from a nice-to-have to a must-have technology across multiple markets.”

Bumblebee will use the £750,000 to support initial field tests for a wireless charging system for e-mobility vehicles. The funding will also help the start-up scale up to a 7kW power capacity and accelerate product development for a range of potential customer requirements.

“Wireless power transfer is an essential enabling technology to unlock the power of mass electrification,” says Brijesh Roy, seed investment manager at ICL, which contributed to the funding round through its investment arm, Imperial College Innovation Fund. “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.”

Rebeca Santamaria-Fernandez, director of industry partnerships and commercialization in the ICL Faculty of Engineering, comments, “We have worked with Professor Mitcheson and the Bumblebee team for a number of years now, and I’m delighted to see the company building on its impressive commercial traction to date with this investment round.”

Source: Imperial College London

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