February 16, 2011
EcoATM Raises $14.4M for Mass Production of Electronic Recycling Kiosks
EcoATM, the San Diego startup developing automated kiosks for recycling cell phones and other devices, says it has raised a total of $14.4 million in preferred equity and venture debt financing, which the company plans to use to fund commercial manufacturing of its final kiosk design.
The Series A venture round was led by Bellevue, WA-based Coinstar (NASDAQ: CSTR) and Oakland, CA-based Claremont Creek Ventures, while Silicon Valley Bank provided an undisclosed “significant amount” of venture debt, the company said.
In a separate announcement today, EcoATM says it was awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grant of $180,000 from the National Science Foundation to fund additional development of advanced technologies used by the kiosk to identify and test the electronic devices that consumers are recycling. EcoATM says that includes advanced machine vision, artificial intelligence, and testing systems technologies.
EcoATM was founded in 2008 with the idea of building an electronics recycling business that encourages consumers to exchange their handheld mobile devices, video game cartridges, and tablet computers by providing them with a discount coupon, gift card, or receipt for a charitable donation to participating charitable groups. The company’s automated kiosks use technology that visually and electronically identifies an electronic device, determines its value, and offers a trade-in promotion or redemption.
The startup also says the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted EcoATM its first patent.
Here is the patent granted.