In a world where smartphones have become an indispensable part of our daily lives, a British startup called Raylo is on a mission to disrupt the traditional mobile phone ownership model.

Launched in June, Raylo aims to simplify and make the process of buying a smartphone both more accessible and more affordable. We had an exclusive interview with Karl Gilbert, one of the co-founders of Raylo, to learn more about their innovative approach.

Karl Gilbert, Raylo

Challenging the status quo

Raylo believes that the current method of purchasing smartphones is convoluted and unfair to consumers. If you want to go SIM-only, you may be forced to pay a hefty upfront cost for the latest iPhone or commit to lengthy repayment plans that lock you into contracts you might not want.

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Gilbert explains, “Smartphones have transformed our lives, but the way we get our mobiles is stuck in the past. First, there’s no good way to pay monthly for the latest smartphones and stay SIM-only… Secondly, the user experience of getting the latest phone is complex, paperwork-heavy, and completely inconvenient for today’s consumer.”

The Raylo solution

Raylo offers an alternative model of mobile phone ownership. It’s a subscription service that allows customers to pay a fixed monthly fee for the latest iPhone, starting from just £43.99 per month, while remaining SIM-only. This fee also includes comprehensive insurance coverage, typically an additional £14 when buying through a network.

One of the key features of Raylo is its insurance policy, which covers loss, theft, or accidental damage to the phone. By using Raylo’s subscription model, customers can potentially save up to £898 over a 24-month period compared to traditional phone contracts.

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Sustainability at the core

Raylo’s commitment to sustainability is another standout aspect of their business model. Instead of owning the phone, customers receive a new one every 24 months, and the old device is returned to Raylo for recycling. This approach aligns with the growing demand for eco-friendly practices in the tech industry.

Rapid growth and investment

Since its launch, Raylo has been rapidly growing, with a team based in London comprising engineers, data scientists, and customer experience specialists. Earlier this year, the startup secured £1.6 million in seed funding from Techstart Ventures and a group of angel investors, including Samir Desai and James Meekings, the co-founders of Funding Circle.

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What lies ahead

With the anticipation of the latest iPhone release in September, Raylo is currently building a waiting list for customers eager to access the device through their platform. Gilbert states, “We’ve set ourselves ambitious targets as we anticipate strong customer demand for the service ahead of the much-anticipated new iPhone launch.”

Smarter way to pay for phones

Raylo’s innovative approach to mobile phone ownership is poised to disrupt the traditional market. By offering a simpler, more cost-effective, and sustainable alternative, Raylo aims to empower consumers to make smarter choices when it comes to their mobile devices. As Karl Gilbert succinctly puts it, “Raylo is putting an end to overspending on mobile phone contracts and offering a better way to pay for your phone.” With the promise of simplicity, affordability, and eco-consciousness, Raylo is set to redefine how we think about our smartphones.