NEA Backs TechForward

TechForward Inc., a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based provider of financial services for consumer electronics, has raised an undisclosed amount of second-round funding. New Enterprise Associates led the deal, and was joined by return backer First Round Capital.

 

PRESS RELEASE

TechForward, Inc., a leading provider of financial services for consumer electronics, today announced that it has closed a second financing round led by New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), and including previous investor First Round Capital. The funds will be used to expand the reach of the company's Guaranteed Buyback(TM) product through partnerships with retailers and manufacturers of consumer electronics.

TechForward's Guaranteed Buyback product empowers consumers to upgrade their consumer electronics more affordably, easily, and responsibly by locking in trade-in values at the time of the original sale. Guaranteed Buyback makes it easy for customers to return their devices and get cash or store credit that can be used toward their next purchase.

“TechForward, with its innovative Guaranteed Buyback product, has an opportunity to become a major player in the consumer electronics industry,” said Krishna “Kittu” Kolluri, General Partner at NEA. “The time is right for retailers to focus on customer retention and shortening upgrade cycles, and TechForward can facilitate that in a way that benefits both retailers and consumers.”

The product gives customers an important new tool against premature product obsolescence, and also gives retailers a compelling add-on service to offer to their younger, more tech-savvy customers who would like to upgrade more frequently.

“We are excited to have New Enterprise Associates as investors,” said Jade Van Doren, Chief Executive Officer, TechForward, Inc. “The firm's track record and experience will be helpful in bringing our product to national electronics retailers.”

“Guaranteed Buyback is environmentally friendly as well,” said Marc Lebovitz, VP of Operations at TechForward. “With Guaranteed Buyback, TechForward has brought a green disposal option to the point-of-purchase. You can now plan to dispose of your device in a way that promotes reuse and recycling at the time that you purchase it.”

About TechForward

TechForward gives customers the flexibility to upgrade their computers and electronics more easily, affordably, and responsibly. Our Guaranteed Buyback(TM) product takes the uncertainty out of upgrading by guaranteeing future trade-in values for devices at the point and time of sale, and by making the trade-in process easy. TechForward markets its products through consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers, and more information can be found at http://www.TechForward.com .

About NEA

New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a leading venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs create and build major new enterprises that use technology to improve the way we live, work and play. Since its founding in 1978, the firm has adhered to the same core principles: supporting its entrepreneurs, providing an excellent return to its limited partners, and operating in accordance with the highest standards of integrity and respect. NEA focuses on investments at all stages of a company's development, from seed stage through IPO. With approximately $8.5 billion in capital committed to its affiliated funds, NEA's experienced management team has invested in more than 550 companies, of which more than 160 have gone public and more than 230 have been acquired. NEA has U.S.-based offices in Baltimore, Maryland; Chevy Chase, Maryland; and Menlo Park, California. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has an office in Bangalore, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing) Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For additional information, visit http://www.nea.com .

About First Round Capital

First Round Capital is a seed-stage venture capital fund. As former entrepreneurs, the partners understand the challenges of launching a new enterprise and look to take an active role in most of the companies they invest in. The fund has provided seed-stage funding to over 50 companies including: 1-800-FREE-411 (Jingle Networks), Like.com, Mint.com, StubleUpon, VideoEgg, WeatherBill, Yapta, and Wikia. First Round Capital invests nationally and has offices in Philadelphia, New York City and San Francisco. For more information, visit http://www.FirstRound.com