Paris-based Back Market, an online marketplace for refurbished electronics, has raised a whopping $335M (approx €274M) in its series D round of funding led by global growth equity firm General Atlantic.
Valued at $3.2B (nearly €2.6B), Back Market believes that this development will allow the company to consolidate and build on its position as the leading marketplace in refurbished electronics.
Investors in this round
In addition, the round also saw support from Generation Investment Management, as well as from existing investors including Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, Aglaé Ventures, Eurazeo, and daphni.
Back Market’s CEO, Thibaud Hug de Larauze, says, “Our goal now goes beyond making renewed tech a viable option. We want to make it the first choice for electronics purchases. The support and confidence of these prominent funds, together with our growing customer base, marks an important step in Back Market’s journey, and more importantly for the refurbished sector as a whole.”
Aims to restore trust and desire for refurbished devices
Launched in 2014 by Thibaud Hug de Larauze, Quentin Le Brouster, and Vianney Vaute, Back Market claims to be the world’s leading dedicated renewed tech marketplace. The company offers high-quality professionally refurbished electronic devices and appliances to customers in 13 countries including the Netherlands, US, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, and more recently, Portugal, Japan, Finland, and Ireland.
The company will soon offer its services in Canada, Greece, Sweden, and Slovakia. Currently, it has a team of 480 employees across its 4 offices located in New York, Berlin, Paris, and Bordeaux.
With over 1,500 sellers on its platform and counting, Back Market is continuously working towards providing and ensuring the high quality of products. The company believes this will help them increase consumer confidence in the brand and the refurbished sector.
Hug de Larauze, co-founder, says, “Renewed electronics are already the more cost-effective and more sustainable choice versus buying new; now that we are beginning to successfully eliminate the gap in quality, we are gearing up to go toe-to-toe with the $1.5T new device market.”
The company claims to have cut down the overall defective rates of products on the platform to 5 per cent. In an example, the company mentioned, the unofficial failure rate of new devices hovers at around 3 per cent (case in point, the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus, which both came out at the end of 2017, were each reported to have a 3 per cent failure rate in Q1 of 2018).
Consumers shift to sustainability around technology
With nearly 5 million customers globally, the company believes sustainability is increasingly a driving factor in purchase decisions. In a 2019 US Consumer Sustainability Survey by CGS, 68 per cent of respondents across age and gender said sustainability was important to them when making a purchase. A consumer panel showed that 25 per cent of Americans cite sustainability as the most compelling reason to buy refurbished electronics in 2021, up from 16 per cent in 2019.
According to Vianney Vaute, Back Market’s Chief Creative Officer, “It’s a very positive signal that investors and consumers alike are bullish on the circular economy. Times are changing, and we are positioned to have a real and lasting impact on the way people purchase electronics – and the sustainability of the electronics industry as a whole.”
Back Market claims that its investor General Atlantic brings deep global expertise in scaling high-growth businesses that challenge and transform industries, while Generation Investment Management, backs companies leading the transition to a more sustainable, system-positive economy. Their combined experience will support Back Market in its next phase of global growth.
Shalini Rao, Director of Growth Equity, Generation Investment Management, says, “Back Market’s transparent and trusted approach empowers consumers to change their purchasing behavior by making it easier, safer and more affordable to buy refurbished goods. The world generates over 50 million tonnes of electronic waste each year. Back Market offers an alternative that has the potential to radically shift unsustainable consumption patterns.”