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Industry Social Commerce
Founded Bellevue, Washington(February 1, 2012 (2012-02-01))
Founder Ryan Wuerch
Defunct December 4, 2015 (2015-12-04)
Number of locations
Area served
United States, including Puerto Rico
Key people

Ryan Wuerch (Founder, CEO)

Rick White (Head of Legal and Policy)
Products Social-based mobile virtual network operator
Number of employees

Solavei was a social commerce network offering contract-free mobile service in the United States.[1][2] The company is known for its use of incentivized referral plans and social network advertising program.[1][3][4] In addition to its mobile phone services, Solavei operates 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]


Solavei was launched in September 2012 and operates as an MVNO through its partnership with T-Mobile US.[1][6][16] The company’s initial offering is 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 enables users to receive discounts at participating retailers.[16][17][18]

The company utilizes 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]


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[24][25]

Marketing model[edit]

Solavei pays its customers for referrals.[1] At its simplest, users earn $5 per month for every customer that they sign up for mobile service.[1][6][26][27] The income generated is deposited on the Solavei Visa PayCard and can be used wherever Visa is accepted.[1][6] Solavei Visa PayCard also allows members to gain access to Solavei Marketplace that was launched on October, 2013.[28] The new additional service features cash-back discount on merchandises, products and services from over hundreds of major retailers in the U.S at no cost to Solavei Social Members.

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]


  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. 

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