San Diego-based ecoATM, which develops kiosks that buy-back and recycle consumer electronics, has raised $14.4 million in Series A equity financing and debt financing. Coinstar Inc. and Claremont Creek Ventures led the round. Silicon Valley Bank is providing venture debt to the company. The money will be used for commercialization and product launch. Claremont Creek managing director Randy Hawks joins the company’s board as a result of the round, as does a representative from Coinstar subsidiary Redbox.
ecoATM, the award-winning San Diego start-up known for its commitment to the environment and its innovative kiosks that buy-back and recycle consumer electronics, today announced it has closed the first round of its Series A preferred stock offering. Coinstar Inc. and Claremont Creek led the financing. In addition, other outstanding notes were converted to Series A. Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) will also provide a significant amount of venture debt to the company. The aggregate amount raised is $14.4 million. The funds will be used for commercialization and product launch.
Randy Hawks, Managing Director at Claremont Creek Ventures, and Gary Cohen, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Customer Experience at Redbox, a wholly owned subsidiary of Coinstar, Inc., will join the ecoATM board of directors.
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, U.S. consumers collectively buy about 500 million new electronic gadgets each year. Upgrade cycles grow shorter as gadget manufacturers tempt consumers with new features. The average U.S. household now owns 26 different consumer electronic devices for a staggering total of nearly 3 billion devices, many of which are no longer in use. The majority of these devices are still in good working condition when consumers upgrade. Unfortunately, few practical options exist for consumers to responsibly resell or recycle these devices so the vast majority of them still enter our landfills as toxic eWaste, the fastest-growing segment of our national waste stream. To solve this technology problem, ecoATM turned to technology itself and developed the ultimate solution to this vexing problem by providing convenience, immediate financial incentive, and personal data removal for consumers. ecoATM trial locations have already collected tens of thousands of devices over the past year and paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for recycling.
“ecoATM provides tons of value to the consumer by giving them cash for their digital clunkers and simultaneously managing the recycling in a very earth-friendly way,” said Randy Hawks, Managing Director of Claremont Creek Ventures. “They also have a smart business model. That’s why we invested.”
“ecoATM is an innovative automated retail concept that we believe will resonate with today’s environmentally minded consumers,” said Gregg Kaplan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Coinstar, Inc. “We invested in ecoATM because we believe they have a viable and promising business and we are committed to fostering innovation in automated retail.”
“Coinstar is a leading provider in automated retail solutions, and Claremont is a leader in clean-tech venture investing,” said Tom Tullie, Chairman and CEO, ecoATM. “It’s a perfect combination to have these two investors lead our Series A as we ramp into broader commercialization.”
ecoATM Also Announces National Science Foundation Grant and First Patent
In a concurrent announcement, ecoATM revealed that it has been awarded a Phase 1 grant by the National Science Foundation and that the United States Patent and Trademark Office had granted their first patent on the ecoATM system.
About Coinstar, Inc.
Coinstar, Inc. is a leading provider of automated retail solutions offering convenient services that make life easier for consumers and drive incremental traffic and revenue for retailers. The company’s core automated retail businesses include the well-known redbox(R) self-service DVD rental and Coinstar(R) self-service coin-counting brands. The company has approximately 30,200 DVD kiosks and 18,900 coin-counting kiosks in supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchants, financial institutions, convenience stores, and restaurants. For more information, visit http://www.coinstarinc.com.
About Claremont Creek Ventures
Claremont Creek Ventures (http://www.claremontvc.com) turbocharges the uncommon startup. As a seed and early stage venture firm, it embraces emerging technologies that accelerate companies’ success in the energy management and conservation, healthcare IT, and security markets. In addition to ecoATM, CCV energy management sector investments include Alphabet Energy, EcoFactor, Adura Technologies, Clean Power Finance, and Sentilla.
About Silicon Valley Bank
SVB Financial Group (http://www.svb.com) provides diversified financial services to emerging, growth and established technology companies and the life science, venture capital and premium wine markets. Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., Silicon Valley Bank serves clients around the world through 26 domestic offices, and international subsidiaries in China, India, Israel and the United Kingdom, and an extensive network of relationships with venture capitalists in Asia, Australia, Europe, India and Israel. Silicon Valley Bank is a member of global financial services firm SVB Financial Group, with SVB Analytics, SVB Capital, SVB Global and SVB Private Client Services.
Based in San Diego, Calif., ecoATM (http://www.ecoatm.com) is the first company to create an automated self-serve kiosk system that uses patented, advanced machine vision, electronic diagnostics, and artificial intelligence to evaluate and buy-back used electronics directly from consumers for cash or store credit. ecoATM’s eCycling stations provide a convenient trade-in solution that:
* electronically and/or visually inspects virtually any consumer electronic device,
* connects consumers in real time with a broad worldwide secondary market to ensure best pricing, and
* pays consumers immediately in cash and/or store credit, and
* automatically administers trade-in / trade-up promotions for retailers and manufacturers.
In its infancy, ecoATM was supported by EvoNexus, the incubator for early-stage high-tech companies begun by San Diego’s high tech industry group, CommNexus. Since then, ecoATM has been recognized by Popular Science, International Electronics Recycling Conference & Expo (IERCE), Green:Net, CES Innovations, and others. (http://www.ecoatm.com/about-awards.htm)