730,000 recycled phones later, Flipswap raises $14 million in Series B funding

There comes a point in every cell phone’s life when it’s just time for retirement. Whether you’re all set for that 2-year upgrade or you’re just dying for the latest and great, sometimes you’re just ready to power down the old one for good. Rather than letting it sit in your sock drawer in its sad, purposeless state, why not make some cash and help the earth a bit? That’s the idea of Flipswap, a mobile phone trade-in and electronics recycling company which is announcing a $14 million round of Series B funding by NGEN Partners and RRE Ventures.

Similar to other cash-in services such as Gazelle and VenJuvo, Flipswap estimates an item’s worth based off of the item’s condition and the current market demand. Unlike most of these other services, however, Flipswap focuses almost entirely on cell phone handsets, allowing them to offer payouts on a wider array of makes and models. Of course, they can’t offer up cash for every old cell phone, so don’t expect to turn that cache of ancient Motorola Startacs into gold. Even if they can’t pay you for a device, they’ll recycle it for free (pre-paid envelope included) and plant a tree in your name.

So with 14 million bucks behind them, whats next for Flipswap? Amongst other things, they’re working on establishing partnerships with device manufacturers and retailers to make things a bit more worthwhile and convenient. At partnered retail locations, you can walk in, flipswap your device, and score a bit of in-store credit on the spot. Through manufacturer partnerships, they’re able to tack on some bonus cash be it that you trade your device toward select handsets. Take their new found relationship with RIM for example; if you flipswap your device for a BlackBerry, they’ll toss in up to $50 bucks more to sweeten the deal.

Since 2005, the company has already turned over more than 730,000 handsets. If you’ve got an old handset or two laying around and making a quick buck or planting a couple of trees sounds good to you, Flipswap is worth a look.