uBeam Raises 750K from FF Angel, Andreessen Horowitz, CrunchFund, and Angels

By Erin Griffith , written on July 10, 2012

From The News Desk

Buzzy wireless electricity startup uBeam has raised its first round of capital from an A-list group of investors, according to founder Meredith Perry. The round is worth $750,000 and includes commitments from FF Angel (the angel investing arm of Founders Fund), Andreessen Horowitz, and CrunchFund, as well as angel investors Marissa Mayer, Tony Hsieh, Ellen Levy, Cane Investments (Judith McHale), and Ken Seiff.

The company was created by Perry, a recent University of Pennsylvania grad and student ambassador at NASA. The idea? Enabling gadgets to recharge wirelessly via ultrasound transmitters. Perry plans to move her operation from New York to California. uBeam plans to launch a functional product by next year.

Perry has electrified (oh yes I did) the tech community with her idea. Not only were we completely and pathetically helpless when our phones couldn't keep up with the ambient location apps on SXSW, we are also desperate for a startup that does something truly innovative beyond yet another app to connect with friends. The latter explains FF Angel's involvement in the deal -- Founder's Fund's flying cars/140 characters manifesto states its intention to back people solving difficult scientific and engineering problems.

CrunchFund's involvement is also a no-brainer: In a hardly-veiled blog post about his meeting with Perry, Michael Arrington called the technology "the closest thing to magic I've seen in a long time."

At D9 last year, uBeam was deemed a breakout star.

NPR noted that uBeam has already received threats from tech companies suggesting she license her idea to them. And there are skeptics that say this is a $100 million problem that won't be solved by a handful of hackers and a seed round of funding.

But with the backing of Silicon Valley's heavyweights, Perry should have no problem fending them off.