eRecyclingCorps, a SJF Ventures portfolio company that partners with global wireless carriers and retailers in the management of wireless e-waste as an asset, raised $35 million in a fundraising round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The investment marks yet another milestone for eRecyclingCorps (ERC), which already counts Sprint and Verizon among the many customers of its novel “instant in-store credit” offering. Seeing tremendous potential in a market where more than 130 million mobile devices are retired each year in the United States alone, ERC launched in 2009 with original investments from OpenAir Equity Partners and SJF Ventures to help carriers and subscribers recapture a growing portion of the residual value of wireless devices no longer used by subscribers. As the only provider of carrier grade, comprehensive incentivized device trade-in and recycling programs, ERC continues to win carriers by helping them overcome logistics and execution barriers to entry, powered by an instant in-store credit solution.
Co-founded by former CEO of RadioShack, David Edmondson, and Ron LeMay, former CEO of Sprint PCS and current Managing Director of OpenAir Equity Partners, ERC’s initial model centers around a proprietary web-based platform that integrates directly into the point-of-sale system at carrier retail stores, where 60 percent of all U.S. wireless devices are sold. The company has grown to completing more than 2.5 million device trades annually since its inception in 2009.
“The success of eRecyclingCorps among major carriers to date can be attributed to an executive team that knows the wireless and retail industries inside and out,” said Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Partner, Michael Linse. “ERC’s leadership team and the track record of their business has made them the clear leader in this fast-growing industry.”
According to the EPA, 130 million wireless devices are retired each year in the U.S. alone, but only 10 percent are recycled. Recent Compass Intelligence Researchhas found that 58 percent of customers are most interested in receiving an instant credit and 68 percent of those want to trade-in their wireless device at a carrier store.”
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About SJF Ventures
SJF Ventures is a venture capital partnership with offices in Durham, NC, New York and San Francisco. Through its investment funds, the firm provides equity financings from $1MM to $10MM, solo or in syndicates, to companies seeking expansion capital.
As a venture fund, SJF Ventures focuses on the cleantech, business and Web-enhanced services, and premium consumer products sectors. Representative investment areas include renewable energy and efficiency, recycling, grid and infrastructure technologies, organic and healthy consumer products, digital media and marketing services, and outsourced business services.
The Institute for Sustainable Development / Green Plus