Raylo, the UK startup aiming to disrupt the mobile device industry, has raised £2.9 million in late seed funding, from Macquarie and Guy Johnson.
In response to changing sentiments on consumption and concern over the estimated 45 million tonnes of annual e-waste, Raylo launched in May 2019 to bring the subscription economy to cell phones.
“Consumers are increasingly worried that the pace of technology innovation is quite literally costing the Earth, yet none of us can really imagine a world where we would be willing to give up our mobile phones,” commented Karl Gilbert, CEO of Raylo.
Raylo has built a subscription service that contributes to a circular economy: the startup delivers the latest iPhone every 24 months, takes back old devices and prepares them for reuse in another consumer market. Plus, subscribers can get the latest model, such as today’s iPhone 11 Pro, for monthly service and insurance payments lower than market average.
Gilbert added, “Until now, consumers have been stuck between a rock and a hard place; either paying £1,000+ prices for handsets or signing up to expensive bundled handset and SIM contracts with one of the networks. We created Raylo to give consumers the freedom and savings that come with a SIM-only network contract, combined with a simple, low monthly subscription for a SIM-free handset.”
Guy Johnson, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, commented, “We’re approaching a new era in the way that people think about technology and the old distribution model that I helped build in the 1990’s is reaching the end of its shelf-life. Raylo represents a new model that is fairer to consumers’ wallets and kinder to the planet, without asking us to compromise our mobile experience. I’m excited to see this trend gather momentum into 2020 and beyond and look forward to Raylo leading this market transformation.”
The fresh funding will help develop the company’s technology platform and expand its UK team, with new hires planned across key roles in technology, marketing and customer support.