Upsie, a consumer warranty startup led by Clarence Bethea, has raised $18.2 million in a Series A round led by True Ventures, according to a press release. The St. Paul, MN-based startup’s mission is to provide affordable and reliable warranties for electronic devices.
Other notable Venture Capital (VC) firms and angel investors also participated in the round, including Concrete Rose VC, Avanta Ventures (CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer), Kapor Capital, Samsung Next, Massive, Backstage Capital, Awesome People Ventures, Imagination Capital, Uncommon VC, Marc Belton, Daren Cotter (Founder and CEO of InboxDollars), George Azih (Founder and CEO of LeaseQuery), Richard Parsons, and several others.
Upsie was born out of frustration with the expensive warranties consumers are often offered with their electronic device purchases.
“Oftentimes when you walk into that big box store, they’re charging you so much money. They’re charging as high as 900% more than they should,” Bethea explained to AfroTech when asked what inspired the business.”We don’t have to charge you that much for you to be a great customer for us. So, we charge a fair price and we try to blanket that with great service and transparency.”
According to their website, Upsie offers warranty programs for several categories of consumer electronic devices, including but not limited to smartphones, TVs, laptops, tablets, and headphones. Consumers can purchase an Upsie warranty within 60 days of purchasing a new or used electronic device (120 days for smartphones).
A press release states, with Upsie’s warranty, customers will have access to a 24/7/365 United States-based customer support team and, when making a claim, can get claims decisions in the first phone call.
“This vision started a while ago. I was actually mentored by the former CEO of Best Buy. And that’s really what propelled me into this space, to see that consumers wanted something different. They wanted affordability, they wanted transparency and they wanted a company that cared about servicing them at every stop,” Bethea explains.
During COVID-19, Upsie saw a surge in demand for their service as people bought even more devices to stay connected to school and work. For Upsie, this latest round of funding means they can grow the company and double down on their mission, which is taking great care of their customers and establishing the company as a market leader.
“We’re hiring across the org, both in growth, technology, and AI operations. So, we’re looking for great talent,” Bethea said. “I’m excited for our team and our investors.”
In 2019, Upsie raised $5 million in a round that was also led by True Ventures.