Refreshed Tech closed 2022 with $4 million in sales after just four months of operation and is poised to triple its sales and double its staff in 2023.
Kyle Wainwright, CEO and founder of Refreshed Tech, told E-Scrap News he moved into the bulk ITAD space from phone repair because he wanted to work on a larger scale. His company purchases bulk technology from companies, organizations and schools for refurbishment and resale.
“There was just so much opportunity to be able to move at scale and I knew that I didn’t want to just be doing something on a small scale, like out of my basement,” he said. “I wanted to have a factory-type setting and grow very quickly.”
That’s exactly what he did. Angola, Ind.-based Refreshed Tech was founded in August 2022. From August to the end of 2022, it brought in 148,000 units for refurbishment, which amounted to about $4 million in sales, and moved into a larger building, the company noted in a press release.
“We couldn’t scale fast enough, we couldn’t process fast enough,” he said. “E-commerce sales went through the roof and we weren’t ready for it, but we’re coming back with a vengeance here in 2023.”
In 2023, Wainwright wants to bring between 300,000 to 350,000 units to the new 17,000-square-foot facility, which is powered entirely by solar panels.
Wainwright has been in the ITAD space for about 10 years, mostly working in procurement for other businesses, though he did have several retail repair shops for iPhones that he started in 2012 and sold in 2018. These were first Iparts Guys, which merged into Genius Phone Repair and finally became Genius Computer and Phone Repair.
From there, he focused on ITAD for businesses, with a core product base of Macbooks, iPads, phones and Chromebooks sourced from all over the U.S. and sold into 20 countries.
“If we can’t wipe it or get the data off it, we destroy it,” Wainwright said. Anything the company cannot recycle on its own, it sends downstream to someone who can.
Very little of the process is automated, he said. There are currently around 45 people employed at the company. Refreshed Tech has avoided labor shortage problems, Wainwright said, because it hires from the immediate community and offers flexibility.
“I grew up here in Angola. All my businesses have started here and I know a lot of people who are working with us today,” Wainwright said.
Continuing to grow
In the coming year, the company plans to hire 45 more people, mostly on the procurement side but also for some business development positions. It also plans to purchase 304,000 devices and generate $12 million in revenue.
By the end of next year, Wainwright said he wants to be processing about 400,000 devices.
“In five years we hope to be in a pivotal spot, doing more enterprise channels versus just schools and be at a million devices,” he said.
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