Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 February, 2023 at 1:12 pm by Andre Camilleri
GO Ventures, GO plc’s investment arm that focuses exclusively on tech-based startups, continues to support GO’s quest for more sustainable growth with its latest investment in Raylo, a UK-based startup that offers a sustainable subscription service for high-end smartphones.
GO’s decision to invest in Raylo was driven by the tech start-up’s circular model of reuse, refurbish, and recycle ensures that smartphones are used for six years or more, thus addressing underutilization and waste. This approach fits well with GO’s green strategy, a core pillar of its purpose to drive a digital Malta where no one is left behind.
“Although the subscription economy is revolutionizing the way we obtain products and services, the purchase of smartphones and other digital devices is still confined to an ownership-based model. Consequently, a lot of handsets and other devices end up on shelves once replaced by a newer model, even though they are still fully functional. This is having significant financial and environmental implications,” explains Paul Grech from GO Ventures.
“Apart from alignment on environmental sustainability between GO and Raylo and the way it manages recycling when devices are obsolete, we were also attracted to the cost of Raylo’s lease model as it is significantly lower than the retail price. As GO continues to push for more sustainability across the board, investing in Raylo’s sustainable proposition is another step forward in our journey. We believe that this proposition will ultimately revolutionize how devices are purchased, and we aspire for such models to be adopted locally too,” added Mr Grech.
Karl Gilbert, CEO of RAYLO noted how GO Venture’s investment, which joins other major investors such as Telefonica, Octopus Ventures, Macquarie Capital and Carphone Warehouse founder Guy Johnson, will enable RAYLO to continue investing in its AI-based platform, which includes an assessment of risk for each sale, recommendation tech, and a platform called “Raylo Pay” embedded by third-party merchants.
“RAYLO’s fast growth rate includes doubling its subscriber base in the last year which is now on track to double again this year, and Raylo Pay growing tenfold in the last six months to a £3 billion opportunity,” said Mr Gilbert.