5. The iOutlet
The start-up making mega bucks out of used and damaged smartphones and tablets
Founders: Liam James and Matthew Green
Founded: February 2012 (launched March 2013)
Third time’s a charm for The iOutlet as it makes its third consecutive appearance in the esteemed Startups 100 index. Launched in 2013, young founders Liam James and Matthew Green have turned a relatively simple concept into a multi-million pound company with growth on the ascent.
Capitalising on the second hand phone market and the rise in SIM-only contracts, the duo buy in iPhones, smartphones and tablets in bulk, refurbish them where needed, and then sell them on for a discounted price using eBay as their main sales channel. This model effectively gives consumers the same quality but at a much lower cost.
With sales of around 100,000 items per year and customers in over 40 countries, the pair appear to have created a winning business formula with turnover of a whopping £14m for 2015 and almost £2m in profit. These numbers are particularly impressive when you take into account that the business was started with just £5,000 in savings and has yet to raise any external investment.
Naming Sir Richard Branson and Lord Sugar as their business heroes, James and Green originally started The iOutlet to be their own boss and it’s a motive which has paid off. The pair now employ 14 people, have retail outlets alongside their online operations, and have revenue projections of £17.5m for 2016.
A new warehouse is in the pipeline over the coming months along with at least one more retail outlet, and there are also plans to enter into the iMac and MacBook market.