Israeli start-up Kado, which is developing a new ultra-thin charging technology, has raised $1.2m to help it complete development of what it claims to be the world’s thinnest wall charger. Kado has unveiled two ultra-thin chargers: one for smartphones and tablets, and one for laptops, which is supposedly the world's first ever foldable charger. AltaIR Capital participated in the seed round.
In the coming weeks, the company intends to launch a Series A financing round in order to prepare for commercial launch of its products in 2017.
Kado's entrepreneurs have developed a power conversion technology with high levels of power density and utilisation that sets a new standard of compact and thin chargers and transformers, suited for today's mobile lifestyle.
Kado Wallet, the company’s ultra-thin charger for smartphones, is 5mm thin (the thickness of three credit cards), and can be carried in a wallet or a purse. It also includes a special cable mechanism.
Weighing 21g, the Kado Wallet supplies up to 10W and can also charge other mobile devices, such as tablets, cameras, wireless speakers and headphones.
Kado Sleeve for laptops, what the company claims to be the world's first ever foldable charger, weighs 97g and provides up to 70W. It has two USB ports for the simultaneous charging of a laptop and a smaller device, such as a smartphone or a tablet. Kado is developing additional products and peripherals, such as dedicated cables, covers, and other modular units in order to complete its unique charging experience.
Kado’s technology is relevant for a wide range of end markets beyond wall chargers, in industries such as consumer electronics, IoT, electric outlets, lighting, automotive, defense and medical devices. The company has already filed patent applications for the technology.
Entrepreneurs Itay Hasid, Daniel Assis and other partners founded Kado in May 2016. Last year, Hasid and Assis, both in the end of their 20s, already chalked up a successful exit of their previous startup, Mobeego. At Mobeego, the entrepreneurs developed and marketed a disposable charger for mobile devices, selling half a million units in 14 countries in three months. Mobeego, which launched its product in late 2015, was sold to Life Clips, an American public company, for $6m in June 2016, six months following the launch.
Kado’s R&D centre is located in Lod, Israel. The company currently has 11 employees, including electronics, power, and mechanical engineers. The company plans to hire more specialists in analogue power conversion, mechanics, and materials. As part of the company's financing and marketing plan, and in light of the high demand for its chargers, Kado announced that it would soon launch a crowdfunding campaign on one of the web's popular platforms. The campaign will be followed by the launch of the company's products, first in the US market, and then in additional global markets such as Japan and Europe. Kado’s technology allows the company to establish a business model with two revenue sources: the first is a B2B model of income from collaborations with multinational manufacturers of mobile, computer, and digital product brands; the second is a B2C model of direct sales of the company’s products to consumers worldwide. According to data in the company’s possession, smartphone users worldwide own an average of two chargers per person, which indicates the market's potential for Kado products.
“Kado’s vision is to release the global market from the vicious cycle of the inverse relationship in which smartphones and tablets need faster charging to increase their mobility, which ironically leads chargers to be more cumbersome and less mobile,” said Itay Hasid (pictured), the co-CEO of Kado. He added, “To break this vicious cycle, we have already set a new standard of power conversion. This standard replaces the current bulky chargers and transformers with compact alternatives suited for today's mobile lifestyle. For example, when we can carry a smartphone charger in our wallet, we’ve solved the question whether to take the charger with us or not.”
Daniel Assis, co-CEO of Kado, added: "Kado has all of the critical elements to succeed as a start-up: a strong team with a track record throughout the entire life cycle of a start-up, from the idea up to a successful exit; unique and applicable technology that targets a huge global market, and a valid business model with clear revenue channels.”
In the past few months, Kado’s entrepreneurs have presented prototypes to top Asian and American multinational brands and are in talks with them on strategic collaborations. The ultra-thin wall chargers were successfully demonstrated at the CES 2017 exhibition in Las Vegas in January, receiving strong interest. USA Today named Kado’s product as one of the '5 Gadgets that Made Me Say Wow' at CES.
Kado will present its chargers at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona between 27th February and 8th March at hall 8.0, stall 8.0J25 in the NEXTech pavilion.