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Trading Surge Causes Temporary Halt in Energous IPO

The company has developed a technology that wirelessly transmits energy at distance of up to 15 feet.


Energous Corp.’s initial stock offering hit an unusual snag this morning, as brisk trading triggered an automatic halt.

The Pleasanton, Calif., company, which developed technology to wirelessly charge electronic gadgets, hoped to raise $24 million through the sale of 4 million shares of stock. Within minutes of the initial offering, the price rose from its $6 starting point to $10.79, triggering a circuit breaker that pauses trading if a stock moves more than 10 percent in 10 minutes.

Trading subsequently resumed.

“I think that investors understand the fundamental premise, that we have a real technology that solves a very significant and real problem today that the consumer wants solved,” said Energous Chief Executive Steve Rizzone.

The company’s stock is trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol WATT.

The company has developed a technology it calls WattUp that wirelessly transmits energy to a distance of up to 15 feet. It’s capable of simultaneously charging up to four electronic devices — mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, Bluetooth headsets — within that 30-foot diameter. It also developed a companion chip to allow the power-hungry gadget to receive the charge.

Rizzone said Energous is developing reference designs, so manufacturers can start to incorporate it into a new generation of consumer products. He said he expects the initial offerings to be on display at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The stock proceeds will sustain the company through this development phase, until it begins to collect licensing revenue, Rizzone said.

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