If you’re one of those people who constantly needs the newest version of everything in your hands then this startup could be one to keep an eye on.
The startup, Upgraded.io, works out how much your current device will be worth at the time you want to upgrade and deducts that figure from the anticipated RRP of the new device. It then charges the difference over a period of several months.
The startup — founded by Jamon Rahn, who was hired by Uber to grow the company’s business in Singapore — aims to help customers upgrade their smartphones, tablets, and other devices with less hassle and less cost.
“In 12 months the devices you have now will still have value but you’ll put it into your closet and throw away that value,” said Rahn. “We give you that value up front. We say this phone will be worth X and all you do is pay in the difference.”
The used phone market is worth $17 billion (£12.9 billion), according to a Deloitte study, while Rahn says he’s going after a $37 billion (£28.1 billion) market because he’s focusing on other devices beyond smartphones.
Having just completed the Y Combinator accelerator course in Silicon Valley, Upgraded.io is now looking to expand from the US and into Europe and Asia, possibly with the help of funding from investors that attend the Y Combinator Demo Day on Tuesday. It will no doubt hope to follow in the footsteps of Y Combinator alum such as Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe.
“A €900 (£775) smartphone would cost €50 (£43)-€60 (£52) a month and allow the customer to upgrade to a new one every year,” explained Rahn, who claims that his data science team can predict the future value of devices with great accuracy by looking at previous device roll outs.
Based on those numbers, the customer would pay €600 (£517)-€720 (£620) for a €900 (£775) device over a 12-month period. They will also have to trade in their old handset when they want the new device.
Upgraded.io is already live in the US and it will go live in two Scandinavian countries this autumn, according to Rahn, who said he’s on the brink of signing deals with a number of large European retailers. It’s unclear at this stage when the UK launch will be.
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