Who hasn’t dropped and damaged a cellphone, or had a pricey mobile device lost or stolen? After accidentally dropping his phone off a boat more than a decade ago, one budding entrepreneur realized just how difficult getting a replacement phone really was. He and his partner set out to change that by starting eSecuritel, a company aiming to provide a streamlined, hassle-free replacement process for people needing new mobile devices in a hurry.
eSecuritel was founded in 2001 to serve wireless carriers and consumers. The company’s value proposition was sound—and became even more relevant as phones became more sophisticated (and expensive). But initially, eSecuritel was a tiny, bootstrapped company struggling to strike deals with huge wireless players. It also needed to forge partnerships with large insurance underwriters who could back its device-protection and replacement programs nationwide. Finally, eSecuritel needed more modern technology infrastructure to manage its rapid customer growth and invest in its proprietary, software-as-a-service platform. In essence management needed to build a company that could address the substantial market opportunity in front of them.
In 2005, eSecuritel decided to bring on an equity partner to help the company scale and meet its goals. It partnered with Mainsail and focused on four key areas:
- Leadership. Mainsail helped the company recruit an experienced CEO, David Leach, who was a co-founder of Harbinger Software. It also led the effort to fill other key positions including CMO, CTO, CFO and EVP of Sales. Mainsail also partnered with Tom Case, the former President of Alltel Wireless, as a board member.
- Compliance. To grow nationally, eSecuritel needed to obtain regulatory approval to operate in all 50 states and, more broadly, maintain a robust compliance program. With Mainsail’s help, the company met these compliance goals, establishing a firm foundation for business growth.
- Infrastructure. Mainsail guided the company to invest heavily in its proprietary SaaS technology, called the Handset Issue Tracking System (HITS), a platform provided to wireless carriers to help them track and replace lost, stolen and damaged devices. eSecuritel also invested in a state-of-the-art, customer-relationship management system to manage sales and a new, enterprise-resource planning program to organize its finances.
- Business development/partnerships. After focusing initially on deals with smaller carriers, eSecuritel, with Mainsail’s assistance, was able to strike partnerships with major cellular carriers, which greatly expanded its business footprint and revenue.
- Annual revenue increased nearly 20 times in six years
- Subscribers grew to over 1 million, from just 60,000
- Employees jumped to nearly 70, from five
- Built a best-in-class technology platform
- Successfully expanded internationally
- Acquired by wireless-logistics company Brightstar Corp. in April 2011