Taking on the challenges of both IT spending and e-waste, UK-based tech rental firm Ooodles has raised $12 million in debt funding. The investment is aimed at helping the firm not only continue growth in its home market but also fuel international expansion ambitions.
If taking on the growing issue of e-waste sounds familiar, you’ll remember that earlier this week Vienna’s Refurbed announced a $57 million Series C round raise that will see the company expand operations, Raylo’s focus on high-end mobile devices and of course, French unicorn Back Market take on Apple during its iPhone keynote, touting refurbished over new tech.
While Refurbed and Back Market are in the business of refurbishing electronics and putting them back out on the market for sale, Outfits like Ooodles and Grover are taking a different approach by putting new or lightly used tech out into the market under a rental programme.
A fancier way marketing departments like to phrase this is a Device-on-demand service, but all the same — a rental programme.
Scalable tech for SMEs
Whereas Grover is making a run at the consumer market, Ooodles is squarely taking on the B2B segment, specialising in access to high-end laptops, phones, and other essential IT tech.
In doing so, the company is offering the SME segment a financially prudent approach to fulfilling their IT needs, providing the ability to quickly and seemingly method of scaling up or down, all on a monthly notice.
With its device-on-demand approach, Oodles is also not only providing for flexibility in IT budgets but also helping companies achieve ESG goals. As tech can be rented rather than purchased, the end-of-life conundrum is taken off the table, with items returning to Ooodles rather than resulting in generated e-waste.
Ooodles founder Leonardo Poggiali elaborated:
“The business model in the IT hardware industry has had little-to-no significant innovation in the last 20 years, other than the growth of e-commerce. The segment is stuck on a buy-sell model, while customer demand is moving to a subscription business model.
“This is where Ooodles comes in, offering a flexible rental platform that allows SMEs and professionals to regularly upgrade to the latest devices, saving time and money.
“By choosing the Ooodles solution, customers also don't have to worry about the ESG footprint of their IT devices because our platform guarantees the reusability of the devices all the way to a repair and full recycle path when required.”
If Ooodles’ modus operandi looks quite similar to a UK-based, B2B play version of what Berlin’s Grover has accomplished, you’d not be wrong. Or surprised to learn that the company’s founder Leonardo Poggiali first served as an advisor to the latter, later becoming Chief Operating Officer between March 2016 - February 2017.
Lead image: Leonardo Poggiali. Photo: Karim Omran.