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San Diego-based start-up ecoATM, developer of kiosks that automate the buy-back of used mobile phones and other used portable electronics directly from consumers, announced today that it has closed its series B investment round of approximately $17 million. Current investors Claremont Creek Ventures, Coinstar Inc. and TAO Ventures all increased their investments while new investors joined the syndicate. New investors include PI Holdings, Moore Venture Partners, AKS Capital and Singapore billionaire Koh Boon Hwee.

In addition, ecoATM announced it has been awarded a Phase II grant for up to $1 million from the National Science Foundation. The NSF received 171 Phase II proposals in July 2011, and ecoATM's grant was one of only about 60 Phase II Awards NSF granted in fiscal year 2012, according to the announcement.

"EcoATM is poised for significant growth," said Claremont Creek Ventures Managing Director Randy Hawks in the announcement. "The ecoATM kiosk system is already inspiring mass participation in electronics recycling and resale because ... it provides convenience and immediate cash incentive for consumers. With a kiosk network already spanning California and soon to be nationwide, ecoATM has already begun to forever alter the extremely wasteful life-cycle of consumer electronics in the U.S. We are very happy to be part of their team."

The new investment will help the company take the next step of expanding ecoATM's footprint to the rest of the U.S., said ecoATM Chairman and CEO Tom Tullie.

"Over the past two years, ecoATM has built a network of approximately 50 kiosks in locations throughout California and beyond with tremendous consumer response," he said. "The new funding will enable mass commercialization and a national rollout."

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