On Dec. 3, Chicago-based Clover Wireless announced its acquisition of YouRenew, a New Haven-based electronics recycling company launched by Yale graduates.
Both companies offer services that allow individuals and businesses to trade in their obsolete wireless electronics such as smart phones, tablets and laptops. The acquisition will improve Clover Wireless’ offerings by integrating YouRenew’s new online platform, which ensures data security and environmental compliance.
“The combination of the two companies could really accelerate growth,” said Brian Regan, executive vice president of Clover Wireless.
The platform developed by YouRenew, which Regan said “will serve a key role in Clover’s strategy onward,” facilitates trade-in of used mobile devices directly from consumers through the web. Programs are designed specifically for large enterprise clients, such as large investment banks that purchase new smart phones for their employees and trade in the old devices, and for retailers who sell mobile devices and services to end users.
“[YouRenew’s platform] offers an online solution that allows businesses to monetize their obsolete electronics,” Regan said. “Not only are they able to earn money, they are also having an environmental impact.”
While Clover Wireless leaders expect their business to benefit from the acquisition, the YouRenew founders expect similar gains. The acquisition gives the New Haven-based startup a comprehensive trade-in platform with a wider reach than it had before, extending the company’s reach to national and international businesses.
“Clover has a great reputation in our industry, and we realize that as a part of their organization we will have the ability to grow and offer our solutions to a wider consumer base even faster,” Bob Casey ’10, CEO and founder of YouRenew with classmate Rich Littlehale ’10, said in a Tuesday email.
Clover Wireless’s investment in YouRenew will also create greater employment opportunities in the city of New Haven, Casey said. Regan said he believes that there is a lot of talent within the Elm City, and the newly acquired YouRenew development team will start to expand by looking for programmers in the city. Since the acquisition, YouRenew — now the New Haven branch of Clover Wireless — has already posted several job openings online.
City officials and legislators also commended the acquisition. Ward 7 Alderman Doug Hausladen ’04 said that the acquisition will benefit the city’s economy by creating jobs in the technology sector.
“It’s a great sign of Connecticut’s innovation recognized in the world,” Hausladen said. “It shows that there is a lot of intellectual property flowing out of New Haven.”
New Haven Economic Development Administrator Kelly Murphy said that the purchase demonstrates the value of the IT companies and ideas that are coming out of Yale and New Haven and that the city will continue to foster the growth of young companies. Investments like Clover Wireless’ acquisition of YouRenew, she said, will help to promote the “innovation economy” that exists in the state.
YouRenew was started in 2008 by Casey and Littlehale.