Gadget warranty provider SquareTrade lands $238M from Bain Capital

SquareTrade, a San Francisco-based company that provides warranties for consumer electronics products such as the iPhone, iPad, laptops and e-readers, landed a $238 million investment from Bain Capital. The new investment is being made jointly by Bain’s private equity and venture capital affiliates.
The influx of cash is meant to “position the company to drive the next phase of growth in the consumer warranty market,” according to a press release. This may mean that SquareTrade will look to expand its warranty offerings beyond the consumer electronics space, but further product development plans and financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
SquareTrade was founded in 1999, but it seems that it has really started to gain traction in recent months. According to the company, sales tripled year-over-year in 2011, and SquareTrade says it expects to triple revenue once again in 2012.
It makes sense that SquareTrade would do well selling warranties for gadgets, as consumer electronics sales are heartily outpacing the growth of the larger economy: Consumer electronics sales surpassed $190 billion in overall shipment revenues in 2011, an increase of 5.6 percent over 2010, according to recent data from the Consumer Electronics Association. That’s more than double the projected United States GDP 2011 growth rate of 2.4 percent. With our appetite for gadgets not showing any signs of slowing down, Bain Capital seems to think that the opportunity to insure those devices is very large indeed.