By Eric Auchard
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Smartphone users won't recognize the name B2X, but if your battery dies or your screen breaks, the odds are that the company will be working behind the scenes when you seek a repair.
For customer services software provider B2X Care Solutions, which already manages repairs for many of the world's biggest phone makers, announced on Tuesday that it is buying a majority stake in an Indian phone repair specialist while receiving new funding to boost its global expansion.
Analysts say that B2X is transforming the weeks-long process for fixing broken phones into one that takes a matter of days.
It does this by orchestrating a global network that connects phone makers to call centers, contract manufacturers, parts suppliers, delivery services, insurers, retailers and customers.
"B2X is doing a nice job of stitching together what are all the very disparate processes that go into the aftermarket for mobile phone repair," said Michael Dominy, research director of supply chain services for market research firm Gartner.
Munich-based B2X said it is taking majority control of The Service Solutions (TSS), an authorized provider of phone repairs for Apple <AAPL.O> iPhones in India and customer care services provider for a variety of phone makers globally.
Terms of the TSS deal were not disclosed.
Privately held B2X said it is also holding a 15 million euro ($19 million) funding round, led by Berlin-based venture capital firm Earlybird, which backs European companies with global ambitions and has invested in more than 100 businesses.
Valuation terms were not disclosed, but a source familiar with the company's business said that B2X is doubling in size each year and that revenues are comfortably into the "triple-digit millions of dollars". In other words, sales of significantly more than $100 million.
Thomas Berlemann, chief executive of B2X Care Solutions, said his company's software and services are used to manage repairs and spare parts for phones both in and out of warranty, with an estimated combined market opportunity of $25 billion.
The German company said it plans to rebrand all TSS service stores under its own B2X brand. It also plans to use the existing TSS store concept to create retail and service outlets for multiple phone brands in a single shop.
The Indian business is planning rapid expansion of its network of repair shops across India and the Middle East next year, B2X said.
Besides Apple, TSS customers include Samsung Electronics <005930.KS>, the world's largest phone maker, and Micromax <IPO-MINF.NS>, D-Link <DLIL.NS> and HCL Infosystems <HCLI.NS>.
B2X said that taking control of TSS also allows it to incorporate the Indian company's Internet-based cloud software for customer relationship management into its own software platform used for global supply chain management.
B2X itself manages customer services operations for phone repairs in more than 110 countries.
Existing customers include Motorola Mobility, which Lenovo <0992.HK>, the world's No. 4 phone supplier, has agreed to acquire from Google <GOOGL.O>. Other clients include TCL Alcatel <000100.SZ>, among the world's top 10 smartphone makers, and Coolpad <2369.HK>, China's third-largest smartphone company.
(1 euro = 1.2717 US dollar)
(Editing by David Goodman)