Crowdfunding sought for green breakthrough

Birmingham company seeks £300,000 for mass production of portable, eco-friendly smartphone battery.

Innovation Birmingham Campus-based start-up Petalite is seeking £300,000 of equity investment to significantly expand operations and put its smartphone life-extending portable battery into mass production.

A highly successful crowdfunding campaign on raised over $59,000 for Petalite in February 2015, with 1,000 people from across the globe pledging money to the project.

Prior to that – in October 2014 – the start-up received £9,500 from Innovation Birmingham’s Climate KIC Low Carbon Accelerator programme. The pocket-sized battery provides 2,600mAh of power, enabling the charge of any USB compatible device on the go. Once depleted, it recharges in only 15 minutes. The Petalite battery enables smartphone owners to prevent their devices from going flat, prolonging battery life and extending overall lifetime.

The indiegogo funds have been used to redesign elements of the portable battery. 12 component manufacturers located in France, the USA, China and Thailand have been sourced, with the first 1,100 Petalite batteries scheduled for delivery in October 2015.

Leigh Purnell, founder and inventor of Petalite said: “Portable batteries are commonplace now, but a Petalite battery is much more efficient, as the core principle is rapid charging. This is reflected in the number of patent applications we have pending.

“We were overwhelmed by the success of our indiegogo campaign at the start of the year, which raised 153 per cent of the funding goal. The premium nature of a Petalite device resonates with the target audience.

“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.”

A Petalite battery offers flexibility, smartphone life-extending attributes, and the panic-free lifestyle benefits of knowing you wont run out of charge. Petalite portable batteries, together with mains-powered rapid-charging docking stations, will be available to order online 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.”