Montreal’s BuyBack Booth, which provides artificial intelligence-based (AI) mobile phone evaluations at point-of-trade, has raised $5.2 million in a seed round led by Brightspark Capital.
The round also includes financing from the Government of Quebec through Investissement Québec. BuyBack Booth plans to use the funding to commercialize its robot-based smartphone diagnostic tech.
BuyBack touts itself as a “robot-as-a-service” provider to the smartphone ecosystem.
The Montreal-based startup was founded in 2016 by its current CEO Tony Mastronardi. Mastronardi previously co-founded TouchTunes, an interactive digital music and entertainment kiosk business that was acquired by Searchlight Capital in 2015 for $350 million US.
“With the completion of this seed round, we are excited to add the support of solid financial backing as we commercialize this innovative service,” said Mastronardi.
“We have had Beta units in the field for over a year and have achieved the reliability and product maturity that makes us ready to deploy our solution to a broader range of retail locations,” the CEO added.
BuyBack touts itself as a “robot-as-a-service” provider to the smartphone ecosystem. According to BuyBack, although expert smartphone diagnostic technology is currently used by manufacturer’s factories and specialized repair warehouses, it has been slow to reach the retail stores of wireless carriers, where the startup argues it’s “needed the most.”
The startup’s “app-to-booth” system, which consists of a mobile application and an automated kiosk, serves retailers that offer smartphone trade-in, warranty claim verification, and “anytime insurance,” integrating with existing programs to produce accurate smartphone diagnostics.
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“There are two outstanding reasons we invested in BuyBack Booth,” said Sophie Forest, Brightspark Capital’s managing partner. “First, the leadership team has a track record of success in the deployment of internationally networked kiosks. Second, we have seen how their technology fills a big need in the growing smartphone diagnostics industry.”
Brightspark Capital provides growth capital and expertise to disruptive seed-to-growth stage Canadian tech companies.
BuyBack claims that, in under three minutes, its booth and smartphone app can accurately determine a device’s internal and external health by testing over 40 unique functions.
“At Investissement Québec, we’re proud to support businesses that work hard to find innovative, sustainable ways to meet market needs in a fast-changing market like BuyBack Booth’s,” said Guy LeBlanc, president and CEO of Investissement Québec. “By playing an active role in this financing round, we’re helping the company continue its development, and we’re certain that this success story is far from over.”
Image source Paul Hanaoka via Unsplash