During an average year, more than 151 million cellphones, most of them smartphones, are simply thrown away or placed in the desk drawer in the U.S., according to Ben Jones, chief executive officer of Fishers-based Mobile Recell. He says carelessness can put a lot of data at risk, especially for companies that provide phones, laptops, and tablets to employees.
Mobile Recell is a mobile device recovery company that works with companies to safely retire personal electronic equipment.
Jones says his company plans to triple staff size by the end of the year because of the growing risk of cybersecurity breaches.
“There’s an increasing rate of data breaches targeting valuable corporate data on mobile devices. There were nearly 3,000 publicly reported data breaches in the first three quarters of 2020,” said Jones, in an interview with Inside INdiana Business. “Pretty staggering numbers. And, unfortunately, those numbers will continue to increase.”
Jones says his company’s device recovery software platform enables organizations to track corporate-owned devices, ensure data security and save time for information technology teams.
“Manual device recovery is very labor-intensive. A corporate device refresh takes about 41 minutes per device, which is a pretty staggering number,” explained Jones. “If you’re an IT manager, and you’re tasked with a million other things, to spend 41 minutes to recover one device really puts you in a peculiar situation.”
Mobile Recell purchases retired devices from companies that use its services. The corporate-owned equipment is sent to a third-party processor to clear the devices of data and operating systems.
“Our model not only touches on data security and recovering residual value from those devices, but it also helps repurpose those devices and save, you know, precious metals from ending up in landfill,” said Jones.
The equipment is then made available for resale. Jones says there is a growing market for repurposed technology.
“The demand for used devices has actually now surpassed the demand for brand new devices,” said Jones. “What’s contributing to that shift is that selling prices are so high at this point. Consumers aren’t necessarily wanting to spend $1,200 on a new flagship iPhone, or a flagship Samsung. So instead, they’ll look for a used model that is in a good condition.”
The company, which started in a shared office space in Carmel, has recently opened its new headquarters in Fishers. Jones says the company employed 15 people in 2020. But by the end of this year, it could reach 70.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Jones explained companies are focused on not only device security, but sustainability.