If you’re anything like the average Silicon Valley entrepreneur, right now you’ve got an iPhone in your pocket and a pile of old Blackberries in a drawer somewhere. But hopefully, with the help of recycling and resale companies like Flipswap, we’ll no longer keep old phones hanging around or worse, throw them in the trash.
Flipswap just raised $14 million for its business plan of letting you trade in or recycle your old phone as you’re buying a new one. The startup says it has taken over 700,000 handsets back to date, and partnered with several larger companies, including Amazon and Newegg.
Its web site tries to make simplify the trade-in process for consumers. You can choose to either take store credit at a nearby location (sadly, the closest to me is 60 miles away) or trade online. The price for a trade-in is prominently displayed although, as you might imagine, quite a few older phones are worth little to nothing.
Because mobile phone use is still growing at a torrid pace worldwide, Flipswap can turn a decent buck from the model. And that’s why it also has plenty of competition. ReCellular, which just picked up a $15 million investment, also concentrates on mobile phones, and looks like the larger of the two companies. Accepting a wider array of electronics are TechForward, which is raising a round, Turtle Wings and Gazelle, whose parent company Second Rotation just scored $6 million.