Superpedestrian Emerges from Stealth with $2.1 Million in Funding from Spark Capital
Founding team from MIT SENSEable City Lab aims to reinvent urban mobility with first-ever commercialization of the "The Copenhagen Wheel"
BOSTON, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Superpedestrian emerged from stealth mode today to announce a $2.1 million Series A round of funding from Spark Capital with participation from Tumblr Founder and CEO David Karp. Superpedestrian was founded by MIT SENSEable City Laboratory Associate Director Assaf Biderman who helped conceive and develop the acclaimed Copenhagen Wheel together with Carlo Ratti, the Lab's director. Superpedestrian set out to commercialize the patented wheel technology, which transforms standard bicycles into hybrid e-bikes with integrated online platforms, finding new ways to connect people with their environment.
"With the backing of Spark and David, and a founding team comprised of creative people in the areas of networked computing, electro-mechanics, city planning and design, we're now less than 60 days away from introducing the first-ever commercial model of the Copenhagen Wheel," said Biderman. "It is estimated that two to four billion people worldwide are cyclists, yet most urban areas have grown too large to cycle through. By throwing a Copenhagen Wheel on your bike, you can ride almost anywhere – hills feel flattened, distances shrunk, and it's connected through a range of apps that let you control and personalize your bike."
Superpedestrian's breakthrough in personal mobility is being developed by a founding team comprised of world-recognized engineers, architects and academics, who formerly were team members at companies such as Segway, TeleAtlas, Nokia and MillenWorks, a subsidiary of Textron.
"The Superpedestrian team has come up with one of the most innovative means of urban travel to be introduced in recent decades," said Spark Capital Co-Founder and General Partner Santo Politi. "Assaf and his team have taken the world's most common mode of transport – the bicycle – and completely transformed it. The Copenhagen Wheel promises to not only change the way we're able to move around in urban areas, but provides a new connecting network between cyclists, their bikes, and the city through personalized apps and real time connectivity."
"The Copenhagen Wheel is an embodiment of a more general trend of inserting intelligence into our everyday objects to create a smart, supporting infrastructure around ourselves," said Ratti.
Superpedestrian will introduce the product – including technical details and video demonstrations – in late November. More information can be found at www.superpedestrian.com.
About Spark Capital
Spark Capital is a venture capital firm that partners with exceptional entrepreneurs seeking to build disruptive, world-changing companies. Founded in 2005, the firm manages approximately $1.5 billion across four funds. Headquartered in Boston, Spark maintains an office in New York and invests across the globe. The firm focuses on the following key categories: advertising & monetization, commerce & services, content & media, hardware & infrastructure, mobile and social. Spark Capital has backed notable companies including Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, AdMeld, Adapt.tv, OMGPOP, Warby Parker and Wayfair. For more information, visit www.sparkcapital.com.
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