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Openbay, a Stage 1 Ventures portfolio company, announced today that it has teamed up with Allstate Insurance to provide auto repair and maintenance services to Allstate policyholders, visitors to, and users of the Allstate mobile and Drivewise apps.

Users may book service appointments ranging from routine maintenance — such as oil changes, brake service, new tires and resolving a check-engine light — to major repairs, including timing belts, water pump replacements, electrical, and even new engine replacements. Openbay offers a wide range of services via a nationwide network of franchise dealerships, national chains, independent service centers and mobile mechanics.

“Openbay believes a well maintained vehicle is a safe vehicle. By teaming up with Allstate, Openbay expands its reach to a large customer base of vehicle owners throughout the U.S.,” said Rob Infantino, founder and CEO of Openbay. “Allstate and Openbay are delivering innovative solutions to market to meet the needs and expectations of the connected consumer.”

Additional information can be found in the Openbay press release.

WiTricity, a Stage 1 Ventures portfolio company and the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer over distance, has appointed wireless telecommunications veteran Mary Chan to its Board of Directors effective immediately. Chan’s unique background makes her a powerful addition to WiTricity’s board as the company continues to commercialize the next wave of wireless charging solutions.

Most recently serving as president of GM’s Global Connected Consumer & OnStar Service, Chan was instrumental in the implementation of 4GLTE connectivity service across GM’s global vehicle brands, enabling connected drivers and bringing forward a new generation of technology-enabled automobiles. Prior to that, Chan’s tenure at Dell, Alcatel-Lucent and AT&T included taking the lead on several key consumer electronic and wireless initiatives, one being the global deployment of 4G and 3G networks. Her contributions have helped shape the connected ecosystem we experience today.

“I have known Mary for quite some time now from our previous work together at Dell, and her expertise and creativity are truly unrivaled,” said WiTricity CEO Alex Gruzen. “Her deep knowledge of the telecommunications, consumer electronics and automotive industries, coupled with her leadership and management experience, makes her an ideal addition to the board. Mary’s expertise is so perfectly matched to the verticals we are focusing on from a strategic perspective, she couldn’t be a better fit. I’m excited to have her with us as WiTricity continues to eliminate wires from our connected lives.”

Additional information can be found in the WinTricity press release.

WiTricity, a Stage 1 Ventures portfolio company and the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer over distance, today announced that Greatbatch, a global developer and manufacturer of medical devices and components, has extended its relationship with WiTricity to leverage its patented wireless charging technology in the development of implantable medical device applications. This new agreement expands collaboration between Greatbatch and WiTricity to cover a broad range of medical devices and systems. Greatbatch intends to work closely with customers to define opportunities to leverage WiTricity technology into medical devices and clinical applications where wireless power transfer solutions can address unmet clinical needs, enabling critical innovation in the current and next generations of implantable, interventional and portable medical devices.

Unlike the consumer electronics and automotive industries, where wireless energy is reaching an inflection point, the healthcare industry continues to struggle with cords and power transfer limitations. With more than 51 million surgeries taking place annually in the US, operating rooms are frequently challenged by the tangle of power cords that can hamper procedural efficiency. Considering that more than 150 million people worldwide are candidates for power-centric neurostimulation implants, significant opportunity exists to untether the healthcare space for physicians and their patients, enabling therapy delivery with fewer limitations.

“Implantable medical applications are a natural fit for WiTricity technology, allowing new designs that increase patient comfort, reduce battery sizes and deliver a better overall patient experience,” said WiTricity CEO Alex Gruzen. “Working with Greatbatch, a decided leader in medical device design and manufacturing, enables WiTricity to address the medical market as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Additional information can be found in the WinTricity press release.

Marxent, a Stage1Ventures portfolio company, has been recognized as a “Cool Vendor” in a recent Gartner report entitled “Cool Vendors in Digital Commerce”. The accolade was given in recognition of Marxent’s innovative augmented reality and virtual reality 3D visualization tools that evoke context and emotion when it comes to retail sales and marketing.

Gartner conducts annual evaluations of emerging technology companies that are addressing a wide array of industry issues and trends. For the Cool Vendors in Digital Commerce Marketing report, Gartner identified companies that are leading the evolution of digital marketing, including the expectation of support in making complex buying decisions.

“We’re honored to be included in such a well-respected series of reports by Gartner,” said Beck Besecker, co-founder and CEO of Marxent. “Implementing augmented reality and virtual reality for visual merchandising and product education enables a new level of interaction with customers. We are already showing marketers and retailers – especially those selling large scale and configurable products or services – how this technology can vastly accelerate the sales cycle and create new experiences that improve brand loyalty. Being recognized as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Digital Commerce Marketing is a recognition of our unique commitment and approach to retail and marketing innovation.”

Additional information can be found in the Business Wire press release.

Marxent, a Stage1Ventures portfolio company, announced today that it has closed $10 million in Series B funding. Led by Stage1Ventures and Detroit Venture Partners, the funding will provide Marxent with capital to accelerate the growth of VisualCommerce™, Marxent’s scalable virtual products platform that allows 3D products to be configured and visualized in AR and VR applications.

“AR and VR will effect everything from gaming to entertainment to commerce. Marxent has emerged as the clear leader in providing solutions for retailers and manufacturers in this exciting space,” said Dan Gilbert, founding partner of DVP. “We led this latest round because we believe Marxent has the momentum to achieve widespread adoption of their products. In addition, the culture and talent leading this company are both exceptional.”

“We are looking forward to the next chapter in Marxent’s development. The team’s innovative thinking and execution puts it at the center of the AR/VR space at a pivotal turning point for these technologies. We see the potential for this business to scale quickly and are optimistic about the future of the company,” David Baum, managing director of Stage 1 Ventures added.

Additional information can be found in the PE Hub press release.

TriLumina, a Stage1Ventures portfolio company, announced that DENSO International America, Inc. has made a strategic investment in TriLumina. DENSO Corporation is a global automotive components manufacturer headquartered in the city of Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Since 2009, DENSO is the world’s biggest auto-parts manufacturer by revenue.

TriLumina is helping to accelerate the automotive industry’s adoption of semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles by providing lasers for 100 percent solid-state LiDAR products and advanced driver monitoring systems (DMS). This strategic investment from DENSO enables TriLumina to gain broader access to the automotive market.

“As a supplier of advanced driver assistance systems, DENSO is eager to work closely with TriLumina to bring high-performance, cost effective light source solutions to the market,” said Tony Cannestra, director of Corporate Ventures for DENSO International America, Inc.

“It’s critical to work with leading Tier 1 suppliers like DENSO as we introduce and deploy technology that will shape the automotive industry for years to come. It’s a tremendous endorsement of our technology to have DENSO engage as one of our Tier 1 partners, work with us to become qualified, and help fuel development,” said Kirk Otis, chief executive officer of TriLumina.

Additional information can be found in the PRNewswire press release.

WiTricity, a Stage 1 Partners portfolio company and the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer over distance, today announced that DAIHEN, a global developer in power electronics and industrial robotics, has licensed WiTricity’s magnetic resonance technology. Osaka, Japan based DAIHEN will leverage WiTricity’s patented wireless charging technology for use in the Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) and electrical forklift truck market.

DAIHEN will offer wireless charging systems to AGV and mobile robotics developers on an OEM basis, as well as directly to industrial end users for custom factory automation projects.

“DAIHEN sees wireless power transfer as a foundational technology for the factory of the future, and we expect wireless charging to be a growth engine for DAIHEN’s business,” said Yoshinori Tsuruda, DAIHEN general manager of WPT system development.”Working with WiTricity allows us to enter the market for AGV wireless charging, while providing DAIHEN with a technology platform to bring wireless charging to a broader range of industrial applications. We envision serving the growing market for wireless charging of electric cars eventually.”

“The industrial robotics market is primed to take advantage of wireless charging technology, and WiTricity is pleased to be working with a leader in the space like DAIHEN,” said David Schatz, WiTricity vice president of business development. “Companies across the industry will have access to WiTricity technology in turn-key products and systems delivered by DAIHEN, a respected name in industrial power electronics and factory automation.”

Additional information can be found on the WiTricity website.

inStream, a stage1ventures portfolio company and leading provider of intelligent marketing solutions, today announced the appointment of Dekkers L. Davidson to its board of directors. Davidson brings more than 30 years of executive leadership experience in the retail, mobile and wireless industries to inStream and he will support inStream President and Chief Executive Officer, Ann Raider, in expanding solutions and line extensions to keep inStream technology and marketing offerings on the cutting edge.

“Dekkers comes to the inStream board with a wealth of industry knowledge and entrepreneurial experience, including helping to launch mobile wallet and loyalty solutions, both of which have become priorities for inStream in 2016, as we continuously focus on value-added tools to augment our technology and marketing platform for our retailer and brand clients,” said Ann Raider, CEO of inStream.

“I am excited to be a part of inStream’s rapid growth,” said Davidson. “Our expansion into the areas of loyalty and mobile wallet solutions will help ensure inStream continues to be a leader in personalized targeted marketing for retailers, brands and agencies as a highly effective and efficient alternative to traditional direct media. Our mission is to help all inStream clients increase ROI and consumer insights while enhancing the shopping experience.”

Additional information can be found on the inStream press release.

Ben Young, Sworkit’s founder & CEO, was interviewed on CNBC Squawk Box, demoing the Sworkit application.

The video can be seen here.

TriLumina, a Stage1Ventures portfolio company, was featured in a TU-Automotive article entitled “The Disrupters: Cutting LiDAR costs to advance autonomous vehicles”. In this article, staff writer Olena Kagui writes about how TriLumina is on target to replace a $6,000 laser with a $60 semiconductor laser in a new high resolution flash LiDAR system, how the advancement opens up additional practical applications, and the demand such advances will have in the future.

The complete TU-Automotive article can be read here.

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