Outerwall, the Bellevue-based company formerly known as Coinstar, is buying ecoATM, a San Diego company that makes automated kiosks for buying used phones and other electronics, for $350 million in cash.
The deal, announced this morning, adds to Outerwall’s portfolio of kiosks that includes Redbox movie rentals, Coinstar coin-counting machines and Rubi coffee kiosks.
Outerwall already owns 23 percent of ecoATM, and the company says consideration for that stake will be deducted from the cash payment.
Outerwall is betting on the growth potential of the market for used device trade-ins. Here’s how the company describes the growth potential of ecoATM in the news release announcing the deal.
ecoATM is the first company to create an automated self-serve kiosk system to purchase used mobile phones, tablets and MP3 players for cash. The kiosks use patented, advanced machine vision, electronic diagnostics and artificial intelligence to evaluate electronics. ecoATM’s eCycling stations provide a convenient trade-in solution that connects consumers real-time to broad worldwide secondary markets for the best possible pricing.
ecoATM capitalizes on the growing U.S. mobile device market where 175 million new devices are sold annually. Today, only 20% of used mobile phones are collected, with more than 50% being discarded or stored, representing a significant market opportunity. In addition, the demand for refurbished mobile phones continues to accelerate, due largely to growth in emerging markets.
The deal, which requires regulatory approval, is scheduled to close in the third quarter.