Smartphone diagnostic bot-maker BuyBack Booth gets $5.2 million

BuyBack Booth, a “Robot-as-a-Service” company that diagnoses a phone’s condition, is announcing $5.2 million in seed funding.

The round was backed by Brightspark Capital and includes participation from the Government of Quebec, through Investissement Québec.

The Montreal-based company supports retailers in their trade-in programs, producing a diagnostic of a used smartphone’s condition. The booth and smartphone app can accurately test over 40 unique functions to determine the internal health of a device in less than three minutes. It can also evaluate its external state to ensure consistency in customer trade-ins.

BuyBack Booth says the $35 billion smartphone diagnostics industry is seeing expert technology in manufacturer’s factories and specialized repair warehouses. However, the technology has yet to reach wireless carrier’s retail stores – where it’s needed the most.

BuyBack Booth says it integrates with retailers as part of the store’s existing trade-in offering, warranty claim verification, “anytime insurance” feature, and more.

“There are two reasons we invested in BuyBack Booth”, said Brightspark Capital’s Sophie Forest. “First, the leadership team has a track record of success in the deployment of internationally networked kiosks. Second, we have seen how their technology fills a big need in the growing smartphone diagnostics industry”.

BuyBack Booth’s CEO, Tony Mastronardi, has a track record of creation in the mobile phone industry. According to the company’s website, Mastronardi founded Planete Mobile in the early 1990s, a Rogers branded wireless store. Planete Mobile quickly became one of the biggest players in its field in eastern Canada, groing to 25 stores.

He then founded TouchTunes, a digital jukebox company. TouchTunes grew from start-up to the biggest company in the coin-operated amusement machine industry with 70,000+ kiosks worldwide. Victory Acquisition acquired TouchTunes in 2015 for $350 million and took it public.

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