Back in August 2018, the sustainable Dutch-startup Fairphone raised around €2.5 million in a crowdfunding campaign through Oneplanetcrowd investment platform, where around 1800 investors gave a convertible loan to the company. A short while ago, Fairphone closed a major round of investments totaling €7 million.
The latest funding was led by existing Fairphone investors such as DOEN Participaties and PYMWYMIC, as well as new parties including the impact investors, PDENH, Quadia and the crowd investment of €2,5 million. In addition to it, Fairphone received €13 million in debt finance from creditors including the consortium of ABN AMRO and the Dutch Good Growth Fund.
Eva Gouwens as Fairphone’s CEO
With Eva Gouwens taking charge as CEO plus these investments will not only provide the stable foundation, but also the ability to scale up its operations, research new products and business models and expand sales efforts in untapped European markets.
Company growth and supply chain innovations
According to the company, the funds raised as part of the crowdfunding campaign and investment round will be used to finance Fairphone’s growth, production and social impact aspirations in the years ahead. Notably, the company will use the funding to continue to expand the company, increase marketing and sales support in Scandinavia and southern Europe, and test new sales models like leasing programs.
Newly appointed CEO, Eva Gouwens, said, “With the tremendous support of our community and investors, we exceeded our initial targets for this round and are in a very fortunate and stable position to take the next steps for our company and our mission to change the electronics industry from the inside.”
Initially, the organization set an optimistic target to raise €5 million in this investment round, but thanks to an expanding network of interested impact investors managed to surpass its goal, raising a total of €7 million in capital and €13 million in debt finance.
According to Anthony Viellevoije, Investment Manager at PDENH, participating in this investment round presents a unique opportunity:
“At PDENH we are excited to join the ambitious mission of Fairphone. The circular nature of Fairphone’s product aligns with our funds’ main goals perfectly, and apart from developing the sustainable economy in the larger Amsterdam area with substantial employment, we are confident that Fairphone can be a successful social enterprise worldwide and as such trigger enormous environmental benefits and better working conditions across the industry.”
Founded in 2010, the Amsterdam-based Fairphone makes sure the raw materials in the smartphone should not come from conflict areas. Since the phone is assembled in China, the company also ensures that the workers receive fair wages too.
According to the company, they source the needed minerals from Congo, mostly from mines outside conflict zones. Having said that, not all the materials needed for mobile phones are traded fairly. The company also adds the fair conditions are difficult to guarantee with electronic devices than with the food.
Amidst these unfair practices, the company is aiming to make a positive impact across the value chain in mining, design, manufacturing and life cycle while expanding the market for products that put ethical values first.
In fact, the company relies on a long shelf life of the phone to reduce the wastage of resources. On top of that, for each and every phone sold, three euros directly goes to the service organization that involves in the recycling of electronic waste in developing countries.
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