Investors Bet $7 Million on Nigerian Tech Entrepreneur Jessica Matthews’ Uncharted Play Inc.

Fredrick Ngugi Sep 21, 2016 at 10:11am

September 21, 2016 at 10:11 am | Money Moves

Fredrick Ngugi

Fredrick Ngugi | Contributor

September 21, 2016 at 10:11 am | Money Moves

U.S. President Barack Obama meets Jessica O. Mathews, the CEO of Uncharted Play. The Daily Beast

Renewable energy tech startup company Uncharted Play has raised $7 million worth of capital in a financing round headed by NIC Fund with participation from Kapor Capital, Magic Johnson Enterprises, BBG Ventures and Lingo Ventures, according to The PE Hub Network.

The company, known for its flagship product, the SOCCKET, says it will use the funds to build out staff.

Of the $7 million equity, $6 million was raised last year by selling the company’s two main products (SOCCKET & Pulse) to governments and large corporations that distribute them in Africa through non-governmental organizations.

Uncharted Play

Founded in 2011 by 29-year-old Jessica O. Mathews, Uncharted Play has designed soccer balls that capture kinetic energy and store it in an internal power generator, allowing users to light up their rooms and charge their cellphones.

The company also designs skip ropes called “Pulse”, which have handles that double up as lights.

Based in New York, the energy tech startup partners with manufacturers to incorporate its generators into simple everyday play items like soccer balls, jump ropes, baby strollers, and suitcases.

The company is in the process of diversifying its product range by revolutionizing its renewable energy field through the introduction of self-sufficient, customizable energy systems that have the ability to harness motion to power electronics, removing the need for external power systems.

The new technology, known as MORE (Motion-based, Off-Grid, Renewable Energy), is a platform for customizable, low-cost micro-generators that can be seamlessly integrated into almost any product, harnessing ambient kinetic energy to power small electronics, mobile devices, and sensors for internet of things applications.

According to Jessica, this technology will develop new avenues for clean, cost-efficient, renewable energy that will complement, if not replace, other energy systems currently in use.

“A lot of people talk about diversity almost like a charity. What they fail to realize is that diversity is simply good business. Diversity is the key to maintaining the innovation that brought our company to this point,” Jessica told The PE Hub Network.

Jessica O. Mathews

Jessica is a Nigerian (currently based in the U.S.) tech entrepreneur and innovator, committed to inspiring people to lead playful lives. She is the recipient of the 2014 Young Africans Committed to Excellence (YACE) award by Face2Face Africa.

She is the CEO and co-founder of Uncharted Play – an energy technology company committed to utilizing technological innovations to power and empower communities around the world.

The 29-year-old businesswoman is now one of the few female African-American tech CEOs in the startup industry to have raised the largest Series A round of financing ever.

She says she invented her first product, SOCCKET, while she was a junior at Harvard University studying psychology.

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