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M&A: Apkudo Acquires IT Asset Recovery Specialist Mobile reCell

January 23, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Apkudo has acquired Mobile reCell, which develops a software-driven platform for IT asset management (ITAM) and recovery. The deal potentially accelerates Apkudo's circular economy strategy for IT device reuse, recovery and e-waste reduction. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

This is M&A deal number 50 that Sustainable Tech Partner has covered so far in 2024. See all M&A deals involving sustainability, climate tech and green IT services listed here.

Connected Devices Meets IT Asset Recovery Focus: Business Backgrounds

Apkudo, founded in 2011, is based in Baltimore, Maryland. The company specializes in supply chain automation for connected devices. Key focus areas include a Circular Industry Platform -- which spans device lifecycle management, resale market integration and more.

Josh Matthews, CEO, Apkudo
Josh Matthews, CEO, Apkudo

Apkudo raised $37.5 million in Series C funding in February 2023. Closed Loop Partners and Piper Sandler Merchant Banking led the round. MissionOG, Harbert Growth, Grotech Ventures, Lavrock Ventures, and Point Field Partners also participated in the round.

Mobile reCell, founded in 2014, is based in Fishers, Indiana. The company received a $2 million investment in mid-2023 from Ivy Ventures and Elevate Ventures.

Mobile reCell helps enterprise customers to automate the recovery, reuse, resale and recycling of company-owned IT assets like smartphones, tablets and laptops. The company's software allows customers to retrieve an IT asset following an employee departure or device upgrade. The results include reduced risk of data loss and e-waste, the company asserts.

Apkudo Acquires Mobile reCell: New Business Unit, Executive Perspectives

Mobile reCell will become a new business unit for Enterprise Take-Back services. Mobile reCell's 28 team members will join Apkudo, the buyer said.

Ben Jones, CEO, Mobile reCell
Ben Jones, CEO, Mobile reCell

In a prepared statement about the acquisition, Mobile reCell CEO Ben Jones said: "This exciting day has been a long time in the making. This acquisition accelerates Mobile reCell's vision to provide businesses of all sizes the technology necessary to ensure their retired corporate-issued devices are securely and sustainably recovered and reused. Our combined team shares a passion for the circular economy and ensuring devices—and the valuable resources they contain—remain in use at their highest value for as long as possible, benefiting both business and society. We are truly committed to reshaping the industry."

Added Josh Matthews, CEO and co-Founder of Apkudo: "The addition of Mobile reCell's intuitive enterprise-level software boosts our focus on visibility and sustainability. Connecting the business process of enterprise recovery for corporate-owned devices to Apkudo's existing connected device supply chain solutions allows our customers to gain visibility into device recovery results and environmental impact while maximizing the value of their devices by transforming a linear process into a circular supply chain."

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ITAD Market Growth Forecast, M&A Trends

In many ways, Apkudo and Mobile reCell are combining to compete in the IT asset disposition (ITAD) market. Annual spending on ITAD is expected to reach $34 billion by 2030, up from $16.8 billion in 2022, according to Research and Markets. That's a 9.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), the researcher said.

M&A activity in the ITAD market has been strong. Buyers in the sector include Closed Loop PartnersFull Circle ElectronicsElemental Holding, Iron Mountain and TD Synnex, among others.

Kevin Corrigan, executive director, US Channel ITAD, Ingram Micro
Kevin Corrigan, executive director, US Channel ITAD, Ingram Micro

Three market trends are driving ITAD demand, according to Kevin Corrigan, executive director for US Channel ITAD at Ingram Micro:

  • Environmentalism and carbon reduction: Partners and customers are increasingly aligning with internal goals and government mandates to reduce their carbon footprints.
  • Data privacy and security: Partners and customers want to ensure that data is truly wiped clean from used equipment.
  • Asset recovery value: ITAD allows technology to be reused, recycled, donated, or sold through the circular economy.

More ITAD trends should emerge at the ITAD 2024 conference, scheduled for July in Miami, Florida.

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