EcoATM said it raised a Series B round of about $17 million from current investors Claremont Creek Ventures, Coinstar, Inc. and TAO Ventures, and new investors PI Holdings, Moore Venture Partners, AKS Capital and Singapore’s Koh Boon Hwee. The company, which operates kiosks that buy back used electronics, said it also has been awarded a Phase II grant for up to $1 million from the National Science Foundation.
ecoATM ATTRACTS $17 MILLION IN SECOND ROUND OF INVESTMENTS
Company also Receives NSF Phase II Award
SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 1, 2012– ecoATM, the award-winning San Diego start-up known for its commitment to the environment and its innovative kiosks that automate the buy-back of used mobile phones and other used portable electronics directly from consumers, announced today that it has closed its series B investment round of approximately $17 million. Current investors Claremont Creek Ventures, Coinstar, Inc. and TAO Ventures all increased their investments while new investors joined the syndicate. New investors include PI Holdings, Moore Venture Partners, AKS Capital and Singapore billionaire Koh Boon Hwee.
In addition, ecoATM announced it has been awarded a Phase II grant for up to $1 million from the National Science Foundation. The NSF received 171 Phase II proposals in July 2011, and ecoATM’s grant was one of only about 60 Phase II Awards NSF granted in fiscal year 2012.
“ecoATM is poised for significant growth,” said Randy Hawks, Managing Director, Claremont Creek Ventures. “The ecoATM kiosk system is already inspiring mass participation in electronics recycling and resale because unlike other options, it provides convenience and immediate cash incentive for consumers. With a kiosk network already spanning California and soon to be nationwide, ecoATM has already begun to forever alter the extremely wasteful life-cycle of consumer electronics in the US. We are very happy to be part of their team.”
“It is exciting to take the next step of expanding ecoATM’s footprint to the rest of the US. Over the past two years, ecoATM has built a network of approximately 50 kiosks in locations throughout California and beyond with tremendous consumer response,” explained Tom Tullie, Chairman and CEO of ecoATM. “The new funding will enable mass commercialization and a national roll-out.”
About Claremont Creek Ventures
Claremont Creek Ventures (CCV) is a seed and early stage venture firm. CCV invests in energy technology, digital healthcare, payments/commerce, and online businesses. Working with the firm’s portfolio companies, CCV uses capital efficiently, stays lean and develops great teams. Utilizing the firm’s proprietary life-cycle venturing program, Claremont Creek Ventures also partners with entrepreneurs and institutions, including UC Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore Labs, Stanford University and UC Davis. Claremont Creek has more than $300 million in capital under management in two funds. CCV’s energy technology investments in addition to ecoATM include Adura Technology, Alphabet Energy, Blue Pillar, Clean Power Finance, EcoFactor, Energy Cache, Project Frog and Sentilla. For more information, visit www.claremontcreek.com.
About Coinstar, Inc.
Coinstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSTR) 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® self-service DVD and video game rental and Coinstar® self-service coin-counting brands. The company has approximately 36,800 DVD kiosks and 20,200 coin-counting kiosks in supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchants, financial institutions, convenience stores, and restaurants. For more information, visit www.coinstarinc.com.
Based in San Diego, Calif., ecoATM (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:
1. electronically and/or visually inspect virtually any consumer electronic device;
2. connects consumers real-time to broad worldwide secondary markets ensuring best pricing;
3. pays consumers immediately in cash; and,
4. automatically administers trade-in / trade-up promotions for retailers and manufacturers.
ecoATM holds both Responsible Recycling (R2) and ISO14011 certification, confirming the company’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of electronics recycling. See http://youtu.be/BuKpAgF59 for a video of how an ecoATM kiosk works.