The company's machines are designed for collecting used cell phones and other devices from people while paying them based on a product's condition.
An EcoATM kiosk scans a device, determines what model it is, provides a cable for the consumer to connect to it so the kiosk can make sure the device works, analyzes the exterior for damage, offers a price based on secondary market values and pays the seller in cash or store credit.
Coinstar, which has a wide reach into supermarkets with its coin-counting machines and Redbox DVD rental kiosks, and Claremont Creek Ventures led a $14.4 million round of Series A preferred stock offering. The funds will go toward commercialization and launch of the kiosks.
So far, EcoATM has been using its kiosks in trial locations, and says it has collected tens of thousands of devices while paying hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to EcoATM, about half of what they've collected is sold through secondary markets and half is recycled.
EcoATM also was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to advance the technology behind the kiosks. The grant will help the company refine and expand its research and development in machine vision, artificial intelligence and testing systems for electronics.
EcoATM - Courtesy EcoATM