London’s Raylo becomes BCorp certified, secures €125M to make gadgets more sustainable



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London-based Raylo, a company that offers consumers access to high-end tech products like iPhones on reasonable monthly subscriptions, announced on Tuesday that it has closed a £110M (approximately €125M) debt financing facility from NatWest bank and Quilam Capital.

“We are thrilled to have the support of NatWest Bank and Quilam Capital as we continue to grow and innovate,” says Karl Gilbert, co-founder and CEO of Raylo. 

Raylo has also achieved Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) status. Its sustainability report highlights that over 50 per cent of emissions can be saved by extending the life of existing products and avoiding needless overproduction of new products. 

Certified B Corporations meet verified social and environmental performance standards, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. 

The UK firm says the proceeds will go towards its business expansion and product development. Raylo has raised over £150M (approximately €170M) to date from existing equity investors Octopus Ventures, Macquarie Bank, and Telefónica.

“This financing supports our strategy to expand our platform further and provide even more customers with affordable and sustainable access to the tech products they want,” Gilbert adds. 

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Picture credits: Raylo

Affordable access to high-end techs

Three ex-bankers, Karl Gilbert (CEO), Richard Fulton (CSO), and Jinden Badesha (CPO), founded Raylo in 2019 to give consumer access to own high-end electronic gadgets like phones, tablets, and laptops at an affordable monthly subscription starting at £7.31/month. 

With the phones, the platform also provides a free eco-case and screen protector. 

Every year, millions of good phones languish in landfills or are dumped in drawers. Raylo aims to extend the life of electronic gadgets by refurbishing them once the lease expires before recycling them.

The tech startup aspires for a minimum of six years of use for each device. As a result, the company is using resources more efficiently and respectfully. 

“Raylo is solving a real problem for consumers, who are increasingly looking for more affordable and sustainable ways to access the latest technology,” says Richard Fulton co-founder and CSO at Raylo. 

The platform for refurbished iPhones claims to have grown over 100 per cent YoY and expects a growth acceleration as the UK combats high inflation. 

Moving forward, the company plans to grow its direct-to-consumer channel and Raylo Pay, its merchant checkout integration. 

According to the company, the retailer pipeline has grown 10x in the last 6 months to a £3B per annum opportunity.

In contrast to the traditional approach, the company employs AI models and open banking data to reach more customers than traditional methods. As a result, it claims to have achieved credit approval rates for high-value consumer electronics orders exceeding £1,000 on average.

“We are delighted to have been able to support Raylo’s future growth ambitions with this new financing facility,” says Milena Sheahan, Senior Director at NatWest. 

“Raylo is a progressive, forward-thinking business with a solid platform to positively influence consumer behaviour and attitude towards the use of technology in the future,” Sheahan adds.

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