Mecca-based Wadi Makkah Venture just announced it has invested in London-based cleantech startup Pavegen, participating in a £5 ($6.89) million Series A round led by $50 billion Indian giant Hinduja, as well as several other leading tech investors.
Pavegen specializes in the development and installation of kinetic walkways that convert footsteps into off-grid, clean electricity, and data into psychographic and emotional insights. Energy generated can help power local applications such as ambient & LED lighting, and e-ink screens, or it can be stored in batteries for later use, such as its project near the Whitehouse, Washington.
The Series A fundraiser kicked off in 2019 and is part of the Hinduja’s partnership with Pavegen to reduce the cost of manufacturing and provide access to fast-growing markets in India and South East Asia. Pavegen has implemented more than 200 projects in 36 countries worldwide, from America to Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates to China. Installations include the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, an install in Abu Dhabi Airport, a public football pitch in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a 4-city activation with Bank of the West across the American west-coast.
Khaled Abdel-Ghani Suleimani, Chairman of the Board of Directors & the Investment Committee of Wadi Makkah Ventures stated that the company has discussed possibilities of applying Pavegen technology and data collection in certain areas in Mecca. Pavegen would contribute to the process of providing clean electricity for local applications and collecting the appropriate data needed to facilitate crowd management, and other processes in the Holy Capital.
He added that Wadi Makkah Ventures aims to invest in local and international startups that provide services and technologies to improve and develop the quality of the services in the Hajj and Umrah sector, to make Mecca a smart city and the Hajj and Umrah journey more convenient. Fulfilling this goal requires attracting international companies and investing in them and enabling them to enter the Saudi market to achieve the vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2030 through supporting the local economy by attracting international investments to Saudi Arabia, exchanging experiences, and transferring knowledge to Saudi youth.
“We are incredibly excited to work with Wadi Makkah Ventures Company, alongside Pavegen’s major contracts recently closed in the local market, the support Wadi Makkah will provide us will be invaluable as we scale up operations in this region,” says Laurence Kemball-Cook, CEO of Pavegen.
Pavegen is the global leader in converting footfall into off-grid power clean-electricity and data into insights. The company supplies both permanent installations and experiential activations and can power off-grid applications such as lighting, data capture and transmission, and environmental monitoring. Each footstep on a Pavegen walkway generates 2 to 4 joules of off-grid electrical energy or around 5 watts of power for the duration of a footstep. Bluetooth beacons in the system connect to smartphones, rewarding users for their steps and generating permission-based analytics. The tech can operate as a standalone or be embedded simply into existing web platforms.
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