Macquarie, and Ex-Carphone Warehouse co-founder Guy Johnson, back Raylo in Seed+ funding round
- British start-up offers network-beating SIM-free subscriptions for iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max
- New investment round will help develop Raylo’s technology and support its growing subscriber base
- £2.9m Seed+ round adds to £1.6m pre-seed investment announced in June 2019
- New investors join Raylo’s already impressive list of backers including Impact X, Techstart Ventures and Funding Circle co-founders*
On a mission to shake up the mobile sector, British start-up, Raylo, today announces that it has secured a new round of investment in Seed+ funding. Raylo gives customers an alternative to expensive bundled handset contracts, and this new funding round will propel its growth in the UK market. Led by Macquarie Group’s Specialised and Asset Finance team and Guy Johnson, who co-founded Carphone Warehouse alongside Charles Dunstone and David Ross, the funds will develop the company’s technology platform and expand its UK customer support infrastructure.
The scale and timing of the new funding round signals a seismic shift in the way that consumers consider mobile phone ownership and attempt to address an estimated 45 million tonnes of annual e-waste**. Global concerns about the environmental impact of modern consumption have already given rise to the subscription economy across other products like cars, movies and music. Raylo has built a closed loop into its business model – a subscription service delivering the latest iPhone every 24 months, where old devices are returned and prepared for reuse in another consumer market, contributing to a circular economy.
“Consumers are increasingly worried that the pace of technology innovation is quite literally costing the Earth, yet none of us can really imagine a world where we would be willing to give up our mobile phones,” commented Karl Gilbert, CEO of Raylo.
After launching the company in May 2019, Raylo now offers the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, with network-beating subscriptions starting at £36.99/month with the option to add comprehensive insurance, underwritten by AXA, at a market-leading £7.99/month***.
Gilbert added, “Until now, consumers have been stuck between a rock and a hard place; either paying £1,000+ prices for handsets or signing up to expensive bundled handset and SIM contracts with one of the networks. We created Raylo to give consumers the freedom and savings that come with a SIM-only network contract, combined with a simple, low monthly subscription for a SIM-free handset.”
Guy Johnson noted, “We’re approaching a new era in the way that people think about technology and the old distribution model that I helped build in the 1990’s is reaching the end of its shelf-life. Raylo represents a new model that is fairer to consumers’ wallets and kinder to the planet, without asking us to compromise our mobile experience. I’m excited to see this trend gather momentum into 2020 and beyond and look forward to Raylo leading this market transformation.”
The Raylo co-founders’ experience in traditional financial services as well as technology start-ups attracted the attention of global strategic investor, Macquarie.
Lou Tricarico, a Managing Director in Macquarie Group’s Specialised and Asset Finance team commented: “We are a leader in technology, media and telecommunications, providing direct investment, leasing and other asset finance solutions globally. We see great potential in Raylo’s leadership team and look forward to supporting them to introduce innovative ways to overcome some of the most important challenges in the consumer mobile market.”
Since launching the company in May 2019, Raylo now receives a 96% “Excellent” Trustpilot rating and is attracting new subscribers daily. Today, the company offers the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, with network-beating subscriptions starting at £36.99/month and the option to add comprehensive insurance, underwritten by AXA, at a market-leading £7.99/month***. The team is also expanding headcount with new hires planned across key roles in technology, marketing and customer support.