TECHNOLOGY to replace batteries has netted £5.7m investment for an Oxfordshire firm.

ZapGo’s ultra-fast charger takes as little as five minutes to charge a smartphone, versus hours needed with standard lithium batteries.

Its Zap & Go, expected to be on the market by 2019, is based on carbon nano-materials, including graphene.

The technology can be used to charge mobile phones, tablets, laptop computers, cordless power tools and electric cars.

It can be used with international plug adaptors and works on iPhones, androids and Blackberries.

ZapGo chief executive Stephen Voller, who founded the Harwell science and technology campus-based firm in 2013, built his career at IBM.

He is former managing director of internet browser firm Netscape, which was snapped up by AOL in a billion-dollar deal in 1999.

Mr Voller plans to use the funds, which came from private investors in the United States, to speed-up research and development and put the technology into production.

This includes equipping and moving into a 15,000-square-feet building on Harwell campus, where it employs 22 staff.

The technology originally came from Oxford University’s materials science group.

Mr Voller bought the intellectual property, after finding it difficult to charge his mobile phone on the move.

He said: “I do a lot of travelling through international airports and got fed up of sitting on airport floors charging my phone.”

ZapGo raised £2m from private investors in the UK last year and hopes to raise another £20m in the near future.

Under the intellectual property deal, the University will receive a share of profits.

Mr Voller added: “We are benefitting enormously from the fantastic research and development and incredible talent at Oxford University.

“It’s very hard to put a figure on what that’s worth.”