Superpedestrian has raised $4 million in funding. The investors included Spark Capital, General Catalyst, actor Jared Leto and former Akamai CEO Paul Sagan. Based in Cambridge, Mass., Superpedestrian is a developer of the Copenhagen Wheel bike.
Photo: Actor Jared Leto holds his award for best supporting actor as he arrives at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in West Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
SINGAPORE and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (September 26, 2014): Superpedestrian, creators of the Copenhagen Wheel, was honored today when the design world came together to celebrate the laureates of the Red Dot: Design Concept Awards 2014. The Copenhagen Wheel emerged as an award winner from a record 4,791 entries hailing from 63 countries, receiving the “Best of the Best” in the category of mobility. Moreover, of three finalists, the Red Dot jury selected the Copenhagen Wheel as the winner of the Red Dot: Luminary – the highest Red Dot distinction given.
The award comes on the heels of a new round of $4 million in funding from lead investor Spark Capital, General Catalyst and a distinguished group of individuals including Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto and former Akamai CEO Paul Sagan. The funding will fuel production of the Wheel and the expansion of Superpedestrian’s team of robotics engineers, manufacturing specialists, designers and software developers.
“Superpedestrian is solving complex problems with remarkable simplicity,” said David Fialkow, managing director, General Catalyst. “The Copenhagen Wheel is an intricate electromechanical device that gives riders incredible amounts of pedaling power and insightful data. Yet, to use it, all you need to do is cycle as you normally would. Superpedestrian has introduced a powerful design that has the potential to transform the way we move around.”
The Copenhagen Wheel is a self-contained unit that includes a motor, batteries, a powerful computer and a dozen sensors, packaged into a sleek red unit that’s meticulously designed. It powers the rider so that cycling great distances and climbing hills becomes effortless. The Wheel was initially developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SENSEable City Lab, in partnership with the City of Copenhagen – one of the world’s most advanced cities for cycling. Superpedestrian has acquired an exclusive license to the technology from MIT and has been further developing the product to bring it to market. It is now manufacturing beta units of its commercial product in anticipation of official release of the Wheel.
“Consumers today are looking for alternative means of transportation and it takes companies like Superpedestrian that combine a stellar team, creative design and world-class engineering to create unique solutions that are fun, personalized and efficient,” said Santo Politi, co-founder and general partner, Spark Capital.
Superpedestrian exemplifies a broader technological transformation that is taking place today: digital devices are becoming an integral part of everyday objects and integrating with the built environment. This “embedded intelligence” in the objects that surround us opens the door to completely rethink how we address the problems faced by today’s cities.
For information about the Copenhagen Wheel and about Superpedestrian, visit: http://www.superpedestrian.com.
Superpedestrian Inc. is a venture-backed company operating out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It develops lightweight networked vehicles that offer a competitive alternative to cars, and connect drivers, riders, and sensors with the built environment in new ways. Superpedestrian is commercializing the Copenhagen Wheel, the MIT Senseable City Lab’s award winning bicycle project. The company is funded by tier 1 venture funds and private investors, and is built around a top team of robotics engineers and designers who work together to create new solutions for human mobility.
About The Red Dot Design Award:
The Red Dot Award: Design Concept has been organized in Singapore every year since 2005. Up-and-coming new talents, designers and design companies from all over the world have the opportunity to enter their design visions in this competition and measure their own achievements in a global comparison. The world’s most innovative and creative design concepts are assessed by an international panel of experts. This competition sets standards for future trends and paves the way for designers to follow. Being the new geographic, economic and cultural center of the Asian market, Singapore is the ideal location for hosting a competition such as the Red Dot Award: Design Concept, which rates visions for design and innovative concepts. The top prize in this competition is the “Red Dot: Luminary,” which is only awarded to the absolute best of the concepts entered. Further information at: www.red-dot.de/press