Startup Spotlight: Tech Twurl
Have an old cellphone taking up space? Need some extra cash? Tech Twurl can help you solve both those problems. It’s simple, quick and turns your old electronics into cash. Just visit their website, answer a few questions about your device and get an estimate of what it’s worth. Then, send it in and the cash (well, check) is yours. If it’s so old it’s not worth anything, you won’t get paid but Tech Twurl will take it off your hands and donate it to charity or recycle it.
Where the idea came from:
When a friend of Usman’s was buying and selling stuff on Craig’s List, a simple question got Tech Twurl started; “Why don’t you do it on a website?” They merged their ideas and decided on electronics because they have a higher resale value than clothes or other items.
Problem Being Solved:
Tech Twurl wants to provide a convenient and simple way to buy or sell your electronics if you want to upgrade or simply get some extra cash. “It’s exciting,” says Usman, “because almost everyone has an electronic device. It’s a huge market.”
Demographically, Tech Twurl’s current customers tends to be in the 18-26 range but they market toward anyone with an electronic device.
Usman says their biggest challenge so far has been making sure they keep a positive cash flow. They have to sell and ship out the phones as soon as they can after they receive them from customers.
To overcome this challenge they are trying to up the rates at which they attract customers and also price the items at market value to make sure they sell quickly.
It’s easy to see the old phone you never use as a worthless paperweight that just gathers dust. Not many realize that paperweight can get them extra cash. Usman has been surprised to learn that their customers are not always aware of what they have. They either don’t realize they can get money for their old phones, or they tend to overestimate the value and condition of the item.
Tech Twurl has received money from the Hatch, as well as raised a pre-seed round at an undisclosed valuation from a private investor.
Tech Twurl hopes to generate one million in revenue in the next 12 months, and in addition to that they will also be introducing a new program. The Trade-In, Trade up Program is a rebate program that will allow customers to bring in their old phone, sell it, and put that money towards a new phone bought directly from Tech Twurl. “The best part is,” says Usman,’ The customer will have no time without a phone.” They hope to roll out that program in the next few months.
Usman says his mistake early on was not building a team or utilizing the network available through MSU. He urges new, student entrepreneurs to be in sync with the networks on campus and to build a team.