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Dexter's ReCellular snags VC investment from Beringea

More venture capital is flowing into Washtenaw County, with the latest deluge of cash going to ReCellular in Dexter.

Beringea, Michigan's largest venture capital firm, invested an undisclosed amount of money into the cell phone recycler. The money, from Beringea's InvestMichigan! Growth Capital Fund, will help ReCellular expand globally.

"We're supplying a lot of refurbished phones to our domestic markets," says Mike Newman, vice president of marketing for ReCellular. "We want to better connect with our international markets."

ReCellular employs 300 people, with 280 in Michigan. About 50 employees work in Ann Arbor, with the rest at its main Dexter facility. The company has hired about 25 people over the last year, has a handful of open positions today, and expects to keep hiring for the foreseeable future.

The 19-year-old firm collects more than 400,000 cell phones a month and processed about 5 million of them last year. Approximately 70 percent of those phones are refurbished and resold. The remaining electronics are recycled for the precious metals. Data from the refurbished phones is deleted and the recycled phones are broken down and reused, keeping 1.6 million pounds of toxic material out of landfills.

"We're really focused on taking these used phones, cleaning them up, and putting them back into our customers' hands," Newman says. "That has been an important part of our growth."

This is the 17th investment from the InvestMichigan! Growth Capital portfolio. The State of Michigan Retirement System put $300 million into the fund, which is evenly divided by Beringea and another company. Beringea has grown its initial $150 million fund to $185 million today. It is aimed at investing in growing Michigan-based companies. Other Ann Arbor firms, Sakti3 and Accuri Cytometers, have also received investments.

Source: Beringea and Mike Newman, vice president of marketing for ReCellular
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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Related Company

  • ReCellular
    2555 Bishop Circle West
    Dexter, MI 48130 Website
    Every phone ever made. That's what Dexter-based ReCellular recycles or refurbishes every day. As one of (if not the) greenest companies in Michigan, it has seen phenomenal growth, becoming the largest electronics sustainability company on the planet. ...
  • Beringea
    32330 W. 12 Mile Road
    Farmington Hills, MI 48334 Website