Farmington Hills-based Beringea, Michigan’s largest venture capital firm, has invested in ReCellular, a Dexter-based e-waste company specializing in the collection, reuse and recycling of used personal electronics, particularly mobile phones.
The investment, made through Beringea’s InvestMichigan Growth Capital Fund, will help fund ReCellular’s rapid growth and expansion into the global marketplace.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This marks the 17th investment in the InvestMichigan Growth Capital portfolio.
Said ReCellcular CEO Steve Manning: “This investment will allow us to increase both the volume of phones we keep out of landfills and our contribution to Michigan’s recovery.”
ReCellular, which employs 280 in Michigan, collects more than 400,000 mobile phones a month. Approximately 70 percent of those phones are refurbished and resold both domestically and worldwide; the rest are recycled for the precious metals, electronics and plastics that make up a phone. Phones are collected through partnerships with major mobile carriers, charities and large corporations and through direct purchases from consumers, and then sent to the company’s Dexter plant for data removal and refurbishment or recycling.
In 2009, the company collected and processed five million phones for reuse and recycling, keeping more than 1.6 million pounds of solid and potentially harmful waste out of landfills.
“The proliferation of electronic devices over the past decade … has created a massive and urgent environmental challenge, yet presents an attractive opportunity to companies that provide effective and reliable solutions,” said Jeff Bocan, managing director for Beringea. “ReCellular has established itself as thecell phone recycling market leader and we are very excited to partner with its world-class team to help take the business to greater heights.”
Beringea has more than 70 portfolio companies in the United States and United Kingdom, offices in London and Shanghai and more than 20 years of investing experience in a range of sectors, including health care and life sciences, clean technology, advanced manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products.
Among its many initiatives, Beringea is co-manager of the $185 million InvestMichigan Growth Capital Fund, which provides venture and expansion-stage capital to emerging businesses headquartered or with substantial operations in the state of Michigan. For more information, visit www.beringea.com or www.investmichiganfund.com.
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