Second Rotation Gets $6 Million Second Round for Electronics Recycling

The flailing economy is already hurting consumer electronics sales—and no one thinks things will get better soon. But will a slowdown in purchases of new gizmos and gadgets spur sales of used electronics as people look for bargains? Or will it diminish the supply of previously owned electronics as people hold onto their goods longer? Maybe the supply of used electronics will go up—as belt-tightening consumers take advantage of services that pay them cash for their old gear instead of simply throwing things out. And then, of course, there’s the green movement that encourages recycling.

Second Rotation, whose online service Gazelle offers consumers cash for their used cell phones, laptops, digital cameras, game consoles, and other products (or helps them recycle them properly), sees the demand for previously owned stuff going up, up, and up—or maybe, around, around, and around is a better way to put it. Largely to help it develop and expand Gazelle, the Waltham, MA-based company announced today it has secured $6 million in new funding in a Series B round led by RockPort Capital Partners of Boston and backed by previous investor Venrock Associates, as well as angels Austin Ligon and Henry Vogel.

We last profiled Second Rotation in July, when the two-year-old startup announced it had rebranded its service under the Gazelle name (“Don’t Just Sell It, Gazelle It,” the company extolled). At the time, the iPhone 3G was just coming out. And as iPhone-packing Wade wrote to would-be purchasers: “But what to do with your old, perfectly functional iPhone? You can sell it on eBay, if you want to go through the hassle. Or, starting today, you can just go to Gazelle, which will not only make you an instant cash offer for your device, but will send you a box and a pre-paid shipping label. It’s zero-friction gadget recycling—and if you’re feeling socially conscious, you can even have Gazelle send the check to your favorite charity.”

The new investment, according to a statement from Second Rotation, “validates Gazelle’s effectiveness in providing consumers with an easy, fast and safe way to get cash for their unwanted electronics or support responsible recycling.” The company says that in addition to expanding and enhancing Gazelle, it will use the funds for branding and marketing. I can just see gazelles bounding across Wade’s iPhone now…

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