SquareTrade, a device repair company owned by Allstate, has made two strategic acquisitions that will push the insurance company deeper into the consumer and small business technology support markets across North America.

The background: SquareTrade also offers protection plans for smartphones, consumer electronics and appliances. The two acquisitions to note:

  • SquareTrade purchased PlumChoice for $30 million in late 2018. PlumChoice provides cloud and technical support services to consumers and small businesses.
  • SquareTrade acquired iCracked earlier this month. iCracked provides on-site, on-demand repair services for smartphones and tablets in North America.

The acquisitions show Allstate and sibling company SquareTrade are getting very serious about localized and on-site technology support throughout the United States and Canada.

Allstate's SquareTrade: Local IT Consumer Support

Until recently, if SquareTrade customers wanted their devices repaired they had send them to off-site facilities. The iCracked acquisition eliminates that hassle.

ICracked operates in more than 60 metropolitan areas around the United States and Canada. The company's services are likely high in demand given that Americans break around 50 million screens a year -- about two per second -- according to a report released by SquareTrade.

Amid the recent acquisitions, "SquareTrade is uniquely positioned to protect the hardware and software that power our customers' connected devices,” said Ahmed Khaishgi, president and co-founder of SquareTrade.

Of course, the company faces plenty of competition. Big box retailers like Best Buy (Geek Squad), Staples and Office Depot have offered various IT services for consumers and small businesses for several years.

Allstate's SquareTrade: Company History

SquareTrade itself was founded in 1999 by Khaishgi and Steve Abernethy. The company is known for its Breakability Tests, showing which smartphones will stand up to the most punishment and how difficult they are to repair.

The company’s plans protected mobile devices, tablets, and laptops from accidental damage and malfunctions, promising that its warranties offered “a zero hassle claims process.”

Allstate acquired SquareTrade in November 2016 for approximately $1.4 billion from Bain Capital Private Equity, Bain Capital Ventures and other investors.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.