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Merito Partners will invest EUR 3 million in mobile device accessory retailer AIOO 

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Investment company Merito Partners (Merito) will make an investment of EUR 3 million in AIOO, retailer of mobile device accessories and used smartphones. The funding from Merito Growth Capital Fund will help AIOO to significantly expand its store network in Latvia and to expand operations in Poland and other EU markets.

Currently, AIOO retail network consists of 24 stores located in shopping centres across Latvia, offering a comprehensive selection of mobile device accessories. The funding will provide company with the opportunity to accelerate the development of its network and fast-track its expansion. By the end of this year, the company plans to have at least 40 AIOO stores in Latvia, and to expand its presence into other EU countries. AIOO now has the financial capacity to grow its network to several hundred stores internationally. 

In addition, the company has implemented a new strategy to complement and diversify its business. The company has recently launched an online store as well as started a pilot project of buying and selling refurbished smartphones to customers. 

According to Kristers Kalnins, co-founder and CEO at AIOO, “Nowadays, smartphone and other device accessories play a vital role in extending device longevity. Our clients appreciate the in-store shopping experience and the convenience of being able to try out variety of items, as well as to buy high-quality accessories at affordable prices. We have just launched a pilot project in five stores where customers can buy refurbished Apple smartphones. We plan to implement this business line in all AIOO stores this year, and to also offer buying used smartphones from customers at competitive prices. AIOO is currently expanding its operations by opening on average two new stores every month. With the additional funding from Merito Partners, we will nearly double the number of stores by the end of the year, as well as expand our operations to other EU countries.”

Currently, AIOO has a team of 64 employees and is planning to create at least 34 more jobs in several cities across Latvia by the end of 2023. 

Mikus Janvars, co-founder and managing partner at Merito Partners, explains, “We see significant potential in AIOO, as its rapid growth is comparable to similar businesses in Western Europe over the past few years. Since 2021, AIOO has developed a fast-growing retail chain throughout Latvia, selling high-quality mobile device accessories at affordable prices, and providing outstanding customer service while facilitating trends of circular economy.” This transaction will result in Merito acquiring a 56% stake in AIOO, while Ainars Springis and AIOO’s management team will retain the remaining 44% shareholding. 

About AIOO

Mobile accessory retailer AIOO was founded in 2021 and now operates 24 stores across Latvia. AIOO stores can be found in shopping centres, with an average store size of 25 m². Customers can choose from an offering of around 11,000 mobile device accessories on AIOO physical stores and online store. The offering includes covers for smartphones, tablets and laptops, protective glasses, chargers, and headphones, speakers, smartwatches and other useful accessories that help to protect, personalize, and complement smart devices. Unlike other device accessory retailers in Latvia and other European markets, in AIOO stores most accessories are sold without packaging, making it easier for customers to try out products, as well as protecting the environment by saving tonnes of plastic and paper used for packaging.