Nimbus Founder William Diggins on the Future of Wireless Power

 
Nimbus on StartEngine 2022

Introduction

Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are beginning to be utilized in warehouses, and they are disrupting the logistics industry by increasing efficiency and productivity. They can generate a huge return on investment even though initial costs might be high. However, they also need at least a couple hours of charging time, which prevents them from being available around the clock.

Nimbus is aiming to solve this problem by manufacturing a power relay technology that can convert electricity to light, which then will be transmitted to AMRs in warehouses. This light will become the energy that charges these robots as they move. We reached out to co-founder and CEO William Diggins to find out where Nimbus made its first prototype and where the company is headed to next.

Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.


Kingscrowd
In your own words, how would you describe nimbus?

At its core, Nimbus is an energy logistics company. We deliver energy to our customers where and when they need it. Whether we’re simplifying your charging infrastructure, reducing your outlays on batteries, or increasing your asset utility, we developed our patented relay technology to provide industrial strength wireless power, which, quite frankly, has never been available to the industrial world until our innovation. Our vision is to use light to power everything under the sun from displays to robotics and electric vehicles, all without wires.

Kingscrowd
What inspired you to take the leap and start this company?

My brother, Alex, did. Alex dreamt of bringing a new disruptive technology to market that would change the world. I’ll never forget when he first asked me to start the company with him. He and I were walking around the dome at the top floor of the San Francisco mall. Alex was oozing passion and excitement. He explained the concept to me, and I said yes without hesitation. The rest, as they say, is history.

Kingscrowd
Who is on your team and how did you come together?

The core team is Alex Diggins, Matt Jerrild, and myself. Matt is a lifelong friend of both Alex and myself, and our history together, having all grown up in Rowayton, Connecticut, has been an invaluable asset on our journey. At this point, I don’t believe there is anything the three of us can’t accomplish when we work together.

During the early stages of the company, three more incredible people joined our company as technical advisors: Stanford professors Krishna Saraswat, Jonathan Fan, and Jennifer Dionne. These three have been amazing resources for both research and development, along with networking. We actually used Stanford’s nanofabrication facility to prototype our first iteration of the technology. It’s safe to say that Stanford will always have a special place in our hearts.

Kingscrowd
How is nimbus transforming the power relay and wireless charging industry?

Our technology brings something new and exciting to the wireless power market that has been missing since its inception: high power (hundreds to thousands of watts) over far distances – up to 50 feet for commercial applications and up to thousands of meters for military and defense applications. For the first time in history, we can power things like AMRs or electric vehicles (EVs). We remain the only company in the world that can provide this capability. And to top it all off, we own the only granted patents in the world.

Kingscrowd
How versatile is nimbus? can it charge any battery on any device? is there a need for an adapter on each device?

Our technology can send power to virtually ANY system that runs on electricity or battery power. From heavy duty machinery/robots in warehouses to EVs in a parking lot or even the TV in your home. Our technology is compatible with USB-C and DC barrel connectors. However, these are sold separately.

Kingscrowd
What does the competitive landscape look like, and how do you differentiate?

There are many great companies in the wireless power space, such as Energous, WiGL, Wi-Tricity, and many others. Each of these companies has their own specialization within the rapidly growing market for wireless power. However, Nimbus is differentiated by our ability to provide high power over great distances (kilowatts over 50 feet). None of the previously listed companies can do this. It’s worth noting that we don’t necessarily view these companies as direct competitors. We’re each serving different pieces of the pie.

Kingscrowd
What is your current customer pipeline?

Our pipeline includes multibillion-dollar companies all who have displayed explicit interest in integrating our relay technology to power back-end automation (autonomous mobile robots), among other things:

  1. Amazon
  2. Fortune 50 company (partnership being announced soon)
  3. AutoStore
  4. Ocado
  5. OPEX
  6. Samsung
  7. Swisslog
  8. And others
Kingscrowd
How do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?

This capital is going directly into scaling our pipeline through targeted marketing campaigns, patent maintenance and new patent filings, and product (feature) development. Ultimately, we want to bring our cost per watt to its lowest possible price point to entice the most amount of users for our initial product line(s).

Kingscrowd
What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?

Nimbus is pioneering the most important energy revolution of our time. The broader market’s reaction to the pandemic caused a major shift in commerce, sending more consumers online to make everyday purchases. As a result, the largest companies in the world have significantly increased their autonomous mobile robot capacity to meet their growing proportion of e-commerce sales. At the end of 2020, the robotics market was already valued at nearly $24 billion, according to IMARC Group. Despite being very efficient at performing repetitive tasks, these robots run on batteries which need to be regularly replaced. Our research indicates that billions of dollars is being spent each year just on battery replacements! And a lesser-known fact is that manufacturing these battery packs produces hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide that goes straight into our atmosphere (just one kilowatt-hour of battery capacity can emit 150 kilograms of carbon dioxide from raw materials to the final product). By integrating our technology with these AMRs, we keep their batteries at a high state of charge, dramatically increasing lifetime from a few months to up to five or even 10 years in some cases. This will save the global economy billions of dollars each year on battery replacements while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions by hundreds of millions of tons. 

Kingscrowd
As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? have you set any future goals for the company?

Over the next five years, we will be releasing several new and enhanced models of our groundbreaking power relay technology while aggressively expanding our monopoly intellectual property position. We believe this strategy will solidify us as an incredibly attractive acquisition target. In fact, we have already been approached by an investment bank interested in selling our company. However, we turned down the offer. Instead, we elected to continue to build the company in our vision. I believe we are on the path to a billion-dollar valuation in the next one to two years. Industrial-strength wireless power happens to be an exceptionally important capability for each of the world’s largest corporations to buy into. If we decide to sell the company, in lieu of going public (also a viable path), we will likely be working within a seller’s market for our technology.


We look forward to seeing where William and his team take the company. Nimbus is currently raising on StartEngine.


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About: Yasmin Sharbaf

Yasmin is passionate about the intersection of business, art, and science. Prior to KingsCrowd, Yasmin worked on a cryptocurrency investing research project for Wellesley College Investment Office where she assessed the risks and rewards for university endowment investment into cryptocurrency. She has also previously worked in a neuroscience lab studying language and memory of songbirds. Yasmin’s dream is to make investing and financial education accessible to everyone. In her free time, Yasmin enjoys going on adventures, learning new languages, and exploring different cultures. Yasmin studied Neuroscience and Studio Art at Wellesley College.

View Yasmin Sharbaf's founders

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