In July 2017, Kensington Capital Partners added Mobile Klinik, a chain of professional smartphone repair stores specializing in professional “while you wait” repair and care of smartphones and tablets into our portfolio. The company has been experiencing rapid growth this year. We had the pleasure of chatting with the CEO of Mobile Klinik, Tim McGuire, to provide more colour on the company’s most recent activities and learn about how it all started.
Q: How is Mobile Klinik changing the smartphone repair market? What is your vision for the company?
Mobile Klinik is professionalizing what has been a “mom and pop” retail sector in Canada so that Canadians have a trusted, professional repair partner conveniently located in every community. That also means we are shifting the industry’s repair volume from centralized depots where customers have to send their phone away for a week to instead be delivered on a while-you-wait basis so that you don’t have to do without the phone that we refer to as “the remote control for the rest of your life”. In our business, greater than 85% of our repairs are completed in less than an hour.
Q: What opportunities do you see through your partnership with Walmart?
The Walmart partnership is a wonderful opportunity to leverage high-traffic retail locations in areas where there is not a high-performing enclosed mall available for our store location. In many smaller markets including Milton, Ontario or Airdrie, Alberta, there are no high-quality malls so the Walmart store is the highest-traffic retail location in the town. But, it’s not just about smaller markets — our first Walmart location opened in Scarborough where there is only one mall (Scarborough Town Centre) to serve over 1 million Scarborough residents. Adding a Walmart or two into that mix allows us to provide the convenient locations we need throughout that market. We believe there are 50+ markets that will be good candidates for a Walmart location.
Q: You recently announced the acquisition of Device Care. Can you talk about why you made that acquisition?
Mobile Klinik was designed as a “repair-first” company that sells accessories almost as a sideline. Device Care was designed as an accessories-first company that does repairs almost as a sideline. As a result, Device Care sells 10 times as many accessories per store as Mobile Klinik, while Mobile Klinik does 10 times as many repairs per store as Device Care. We believe there is a 1+1=3 opportunity to meld the best of both companies into a powerhouse offer that wins on all 3 core offerings of repairs, accessories and Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) phones.
Q: How did you come across Kensington? What role did Kensington play in terms of growth for the company?
Mike McKenna, our CFO, had worked on an investment into Kensington funds when he was at Scotiabank. When we did our Series A round for Mobile Klinik in July 2017, Mike reconnected with the Kensington team and Kensington played a lead role in the round — and did the same again a year later in our Series B round. Kensington not only provided important funding to the company (twice) to fuel our growth, but also signaled confidence in the business to the market as our first “institutional” investor after the seed round and the balance of Series A was funded by individual “friends & family” investors. A number of individual Kensington investors also joined our Series C round. And of course, we also benefit from the counsel of Eamonn McConnell, Managing Director at Kensington, as a board member and Liam Cheung, Principal at Kensington, as a board observer.
We’d like to thank Tim McGuire for his time, and we can’t wait to see what happens next for Mobile Klinik!