August 19, 2013
ATEL Ventures Inc. ("ATEL") is proud to announce that ecoATM, an ATEL Growth Capital portfolio company, has been acquired for approximately $350 million in cash. Outerwall (NASDAQ: OUTR), owner of Redbox DVD kiosks and Coinstar machines, has agreed to purchase ecoATM with the takeover having closed in late July. As an early venture lender to ecoATM, the ATEL Funds were provided warrants that were exercisable into nearly 70,000 shares of ecoATM stock.
"We are pleased with the outcome of our investment in ecoATM," said Steve Rea, Executive Vice President at ATEL. "Of the 175 million mobile devices that are sold each year in the United States, only 20% are collected and recycled. This provides a large and untapped market for ecoATM and Outerwall to capitalize on. Our investment in ecoATM has been financially and environmentally beneficial and represents ATEL's Growth Capital philosophy of financing tomorrow's technologies - today."
ecoATM, headquartered in San Diego, California, is the first company to create an automated self-serve kiosk system to buy back used phones, tablets or MP3 players for cash. ecoATM uses patented protected technology, advanced machine vision, electronic diagnostics, and artificial intelligence to evaluate electronics. The company provides a convenient trade-in solution that pays consumers immediately in cash and connects consumers real-time to the worldwide secondary markets ensuring the best possible pricing. Further it incorporates features that validate sellers' identities which can deter the sale of stolen phones, an issue often raised by law enforcement.
Outerwall, headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, has more than 20 years of experience creating some of the most profitable spaces for their retail partners. The company has brought consumers Redbox entertainment, Coinstar money services and Rubi coffee kiosks. Outerwall is leading the next generation of automated retail and paving the way for inventive, scalable businesses. Outerwall kiosks are in neighborhood grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchants and other retail locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.