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Jessica O. Matthews just raised the largest round of venture capital funding by a black female founder and entrepreneur. Matthews is the founder and CEO of renewable energy tech startup Uncharted Play. Her company just closed a $7 million Series A round led by the NIC Fund with participation from Kapor Capital, Magic Johnson Enterprises, BBG Ventures and Lingo Ventures.
With the new injection of funding, Uncharted Play plans to build out the team and better equip itself to support the partners the company is bringing on in the coming months. Uncharted Play’s mission is to spread awareness about global energy and clean power through technology and play.
Uncharted Play is a company dedicated to producing clean power through kinetic energy, which is created whenever something moves. The business has been profitable for the last three years, with gross profit margins doubling year over year.
Uncharted Play’s first product, SOCCKET, is a soccer ball that doubles as a power generator. The SOCCKET uses the rotational energy that gets generated every time the ball rolls to produce three hours of light for every hour of play.
Uncharted Play’s second product is the PULSE, a jump rope that doubles as a light. Both the SOCCKET and PULSE are powered by MORE (motion-based, off-grid, renewable energy, Uncharted Play’s proprietary technology for micro-generator systems. Those systems can integrate into anything that moves, which is what transforms the product, like a soccer ball or a jump rope, into a source of off-grid power. Uncharted Play’s goal is to better utilize kinetic energy in order to complement or even replace other energy systems.
Uncharted Play’s business model entails partnering with product manufacturers across industries like consumer electronics and infrastructure to put the MORE technology inside the everyday products we use, like strollers, shopping carts and suitcases. The idea is that you could then use the energy produced by that product to charge your cell phone and other things.
“We not only aim to disrupt how energy is generated, but how it is consumed,” Matthews said. “We envision a world where people shift from a ‘hoard & save’ energy mentality to a ‘continuous and on-demand’ energy experience.”
It is important to note the Matthews was not funded on merely an idea, but a working product. She started Uncharted Play in 2011 and made the company profitable before being funded for growth and expansion.
Congrats to Jessica O. Matthews on taking her business to the next level!