Solavei

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Solavei
Private
IndustrySocial Commerce
FoundedBellevue, Washington(February 1, 2012 (2012-02-01))
FounderRyan Wuerch
DefunctDecember 4, 2015 (2015-12-04)
Number of locations
1
Area served
United States, including Puerto Rico
Key people
Ryan Wuerch (Founder, CEO)
Rick White (Head of Legal and Policy)
ProductsSocial-based mobile virtual network operator
Number of employees
140
Websitesolavei.com

Solavei was a social commerce network offering contract-free mobile service in the United States.[1][2] The company was known for its use of incentivized referral plans and social network advertising program.[1][3][4] In addition to its mobile phone services, Solavei operated a social commerce network for its users.[1][5][6] Ryan Wuerch founded the company in 2012.[1][6] As of 2013, Solavei had 140 employees and was valued by investors at $120 million.[6][7][8][9][10] The company has been described as a multi-level marketing (MLM) company,[11][12] or of being very similar to a MLM company.[13]

On June 18, 2014, the company filled Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.[14]

On November 19, 2015, Solavei announced its carrier partner, T-Mobile USA, had terminated its agreement to provide service under the condition that Solavei did not meet expectations. Solavei customers were allowed to migrate to T-Mobile Prepaid for a $10 monthly credit for 6 months and a free month of service. Wireless service was discontinued on December 4, 2015.[15]

Background[edit]

Solavei was launched in September 2012 and operated as an MVNO through its partnership with T-Mobile US.[1][6][16] The company’s initial offering was a $49 per month, no-contract mobile phone plan for unlimited voice, text, and data.[6][7] In September 2013 the company implemented the loyalty card program Solavei Marketplace. The program enabled users to receive discounts at participating retailers.[16][17][18]

The company utilized a customer-to-customer marketing model, paying its customers on a recurring basis for referrals.[1] As of August 2013, Solavei had paid out more than $14.4 million to its near 280,000 members.[6][7][10][17][19]

Leadership[edit]

Ryan Wuerch, former CEO and founder of Motricity, is the founder and CEO of Solavei.[6] [20][21][22][23] In February 2012, Wuerch and his team raised $5 million in initial seed funding.[20]

Some of Solavei’s financial backers included Jonathan Miller of News Corp and David Limp of Amazon.com.[24][25]

Marketing model[edit]

Solavei paid its customers for referrals.[1] At its simplest, users earned $5 per month for every customer that they signed up for mobile service.[1][6][26][27] The income generated was deposited on the Solavei Visa PayCard, which could be used wherever Visa is accepted.[1][6] Solavei Visa PayCard also allowed members to gain access to Solavei Marketplace that was launched on October, 2013, which featured cash-back discounts for a variety of retailers.[28]

The company used its advertising and sponsorship funds to compensate its members to build distribution networks.[1] Through sharing on social media outlets, grassroots campaigns on YouTube, and regional events, Solavei had developed a business model that relied on customer-to-customer interaction.[1][19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Mobile Telephone Startup Solavei Avoids Ads, Relies on Customers for Sales Leads". The Daily Beast. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  2. ^ "New iPhone 5 Gives TMobile MVNOs a Network Boost but Still No LTE". CNN Money. 17 April 2013. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Solavei offers unlimited, no-contract phone service for $49 per month". CNET. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Solavei Offers An Updated Version Of The iPhone 5". The Droid Guy. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Solavei Introduces Nano SIM Cards for iPhone 5, Offers Unlimited Voice, Text and Data for Just $49 Per Month". TMC News. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i ""Social" wireless company Solavei launches in Bellevue". The Seattle Times Business and Technology Blog. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "Thousand-Dollar BlackBerry Phone On The Way". Forbes. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  8. ^ "BlackBerry Z10 Review, Tips, Tricks, Best Apps and More". CIO. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  9. ^ "BlackBerry will face noise from Samsung's latest smartphone as it launches in US". The Vancouver Sun. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  10. ^ a b "BlackBerry Z10 Available Now in U.S. For $999 Contract-Free". Mashable. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  11. ^ Soper, Taylor (November 20, 2015). "Multi-level marketing mobile service provider Solavei shuts down due to 'competitive landscape'". GeekWire. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  12. ^ Fried, Ina (July 25, 2012). "Start-Up Solavei Takes Cellphone Marketing to a Whole New (Multi-) Level". All Things Digital (WSJ). Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  13. ^ Fitchard, Kevin (January 8, 2014). "Sprint's Framily plan isn't Amway, but it's a distant cousin of multilevel marketing". GigaOm. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  14. ^ " MVNO Solavei files for bankruptcy protection", FierceWireless, 2015-06-18
  15. ^ " Solavei Will Shut Down Its Operations On December 4, 2015 ", Prepaid Mobile Phone Reviews, 2015-11-22
  16. ^ a b "Fast-growing Solavei scores fresh cash, aims to top $100M in revenue". GeekWire. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  17. ^ a b "Exclusive: Solavei to launch Marketplace loyalty payment program in September". FierceWireless. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  18. ^ "Blackberry z10 available in the US right now but for a price". Financial Post. March 13, 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Solavei Building MLM Network to Sell T-Mobile USA Service". Mobility Tech Zone. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Ex-Congressman Rick White and ex-Motricity CEO Ryan Wuerch raise $4M for stealthy Solavei". GeekWire. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  21. ^ "Ryan Wuerch Launches Solavei New MLM". Business for Home. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  22. ^ "Ryan Wuerch: Award Recipient, Technology; CEO, founder, Motricity". Seattle Business Magazine. August 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  23. ^ "Ryan Wuerch out as CEO of Bellevue's Motricity". Puget Sound Business Journal. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  24. ^ "Solavei looks to lure iPhone owners with $49 per month wireless service". GeekWire. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Someone is trying to poach Solavei sales reps, and the company doesn't like it one bit". GeekWire. December 2, 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  26. ^ "BlackBerry Z10 On Sale ... for $999". PC Mag. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  27. ^ "Want a Blackberry Z10 right now? U.S. buyers will pay a cool $1000 for early purchase". PCWorld. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  28. ^ "Everything You Need To Know About Solavei Marketplace". Solavei. Archived from the original on 19 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.

External links[edit]