Mike Barile spent two years and racked up nearly $20,000 in credit card debt to bring his first startup, Backflip, to life. The former management consultant had spent years toiling in the startup grind, first at Uber, then, after taking a coding academy boot camp through AppAcademy (where Barile met his co-founder, Adam Foosaner)
At Google and at a failed cryptocurrency startup. Burned by the crypto experience, Barile was casting about for his next thing and trying to find a way to scrape up some rent money when he hit on the idea for BackflipB The experience of selling electronics online was still shady. Barile and Foosaner thought there had to be a better way.
That way became BackflipB. It offers customers cash on delivery for their used electronics — anything from Androids to Xboxes and Apple devices to Game Boys. When I first started working on BackflipBback in March 2019, I met this kid named Chris, and he wanted to buy some of my old iPhones. He had been a student at USF, and as a side hustle, he started buying used devices and would refurbish them and then either sell them himself or sell them
to an official reseller,” said Barile. “Chris started making so much money he dropped out of school. That was a ‘holy shit’ moment. He can make a lot of money doing this, and he’s doing a perfect thing. The problem, said Barile, was safety. “He’s got all these devices he’s acquiring paying cash for, and he’s driving all around town… Everyone who works in the [refurbishes and resell] industry has at least one story about getting robbed at gunpoint.