Flipswap, a Los Angeles-based mobile phone and iPod trade-in and recycling company, announced today that it has obtained $14 million in a Series B financing round from RRE Ventures and NGEN Partners.
Flipswap was founded in 2005 and enables consumers to trade in their mobile phone or Apple iPod and obtain cash, make a donation, or receive credit for a new device. The company also provides a variety of merchant services to brick and mortar stores, websites, and non-profit organizations. Since Flipswap’s launch in 2005, consumers have provided Flipswap with more than 700,000 devices. According to the company, in 2007 it placed enough mobile phones back into circulation to keep the equivalent of 50 tons of solid waste out of U.S. landfills.
“We saw a novel way to apply incentive principles to worldwide challenges of electronic waste. It’s an important mission,” says Sohrob Farudi, CEO of Flipswap. “We are fortunate to have found strong and forward thinking partners; it’s a huge vote of confidence for Flipswap to be recognized as an innovator with the backing of two leading firms during these tough economic times.”
“Flipswap is directly tackling issues of electronic waste and environmental sustainability through a highly scalable business model,” said Rosemary Ripley, managing director with NGEN. “With this investment we see significant opportunities to grow the Flipswap brand, platform and distribution footprint.”
“We were impressed with Flipswap’s innovative business approach to this growing global challenge, as well as their ability to execute and build momentum despite market conditions,” said Harsh Patel, venture partner with RRE Ventures. “We are delighted to support companies committed to positive environmental impact through entrepreneurship.”
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RecycleBank. a Philadelphia-based company that provides financial benefits for households to recycle, has closed a $30 million round of series B venture capital financing, according to VentureWire (via Private Equity HUB). This round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with series A investors RRE Ventures and Sigma Partners also participating. RecycleBank has also previously received seed funding from Columbia University’s Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship and a $2 million investment from The Coca-Cola Company.
As described by RecycleBank, its core service framework is as follows:
- Households receive a cart embedded with an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip and all recyclables are placed into the cart for curbside pickup.
- Recycling trucks retrofitted with RecycleBank technology read the RFID chip and record the amount the household recycles.
- The weight and participation is then translated into RecycleBank Reward Points which households can view and redeem at www.recyclebank.com.
- These Points can be used with more than 400 national RecycleBank Reward Partners such as Coca-Cola, IKEA, Starbucks Coffee and Kraft Foods, as well as local reward partners such as restaurants and grocery stores.
RecycleBank was founded in 2004 and currently provides service in more than 35 municipalities in the states of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. The company states that more than 36 million tons of recyclables have been diverted from landfills through use of its services.
RecycleBank is planning to expand nationally in 2008 and in February announced the addition of Doug Lebda (President and COO of IAC; Founder of LendingTree) to its Board of Directors in furtherance of these plans.
The video below provides a brief overview of RecycleBank:
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