Recommerce Group, a pioneer in refurbished smartphones, is welcoming new shareholders and raising €50m to become the European leader in this area of the circular economy
Gentilly, France, Feb.6 2018 – Recommerce, a key player in the circular economy and a pioneer in cellphone refurbishment at a European level, is today announcing the fundraising of 50 million euros (third roundtable – Series C) essentially from the investment funds Capzanine and Creadev. This fundraising, which has been led by the investment bank Bryan, Garnier & Co, will enable the company to keep up with exponential growth in the refurbished smartphone market in countries where it already operates, as well as supporting its expansion into new territories. This new financial boost makes the company, which stands out in its market thanks to a unique technical approach and the use of artificial intelligence to manage its processes, the best funded startup in Europe in its area of activity, with more than 60 million euros raised to date.
An historic transaction in a booming sector
This level of investor confidence can be explained by the trend initiated by Recommerce, as a pioneer in its market, which has gradually driven the widespread popularity of refurbished cellphones, through strategic and effective partnerships with European telecom carriers and distributors.
With over 60,000 cellphones bought back, reconditioned and resold every month, Recommerce has helped make the purchase of a refurbished cellphone an accepted practice by providing consumers with reliable, guaranteed and long-lasting products at an attractive price, together with a level of customer service identical to that of a new product.
The refurbished cellphone market is growing worldwide by over 20% year on year, and according to Strategy Analytics more than 131 million phones will be refurbished in 2018, with projected growth of 48% between 2017 and 2022.
Pierre-Etienne Roinat, chairman and co-founder of Recommerce says:“It’s very exciting to see the extent and speed at which our original, pioneering vision of refurbished devices is spreading across Europe. This fundraising will enable us, in the coming years, to undertake further development in these innovative products which are part of a paradigm shift in the consumer model, in keeping with the circular economy to which we are highly committed”.
Becoming the leading European brand for refurbished cellphones
Previously working under carrier and distributor brands, Recommerce plans to invest heavily in the development of its own ‘Recommerce’ consumer brand, in order to make it the leading European brand for refurbished products.
“Between a new market which is increasingly unaffordable and a rather dubious second-hand market, the refurbished device offers a real solution to consumer needs. This financial transaction will enable us to structure a significant growth phase which will notably involve acquisition operations in Europe and the United States,” adds Alain Cornu, CEO.
Thanks to the success and sound management of its business model, the company has enjoyed a phase of extremely strong growth, driven by technological know-how and a Research and Development centre at the cutting edge in terms of expertise and predictive analysis of the different resale markets worldwide. In particular, the company has developed tools based on artificial intelligence enabling it to anticipate the value of smartphones several years in advance.
The natural partner of European telecom carriers
Most products refurbished by Recommerce come from buyback programs organised on behalf of European telecom carriers. These programmes enable them, when concluding a sale, to offer a buyback of the old phone, thereby giving their customers greater spending power. Since it was founded, Recommerce has handed over more than 100 million euros in spending power to consumers via these buyback solutions and with its partners.
Patrick Richard, CCO, underlines: “By way of example, the buyback program we operate today for and in collaboration with Bouygues Telecom is the most effective in Europe. During promotional campaigns, up to half of all cellphone sales concluded by Bouygues Telecom include a buyback of the old phone, which gives its customers a clear boost in spending power.”
Today, with more than 50% of the market share for handset buyback in France, Recommerce is the French leader.
Closely involved in the circular economy
Recommerce is closely involved in the Circular Economy approach, which seeks to rethink our patterns of production and consumption in order to optimise the use of natural resources and therefore reduce the waste produced. The company is highly committed to the development of this economy, which combines a number of environmental and economic issues.
“Our fundraising demonstrates the growing interest of the financial sector in the Circular Economy. By working to extend the life of electronic products, we are helping to preserve our planet’s natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a source of great satisfaction to be able to contribute to the development of such a virtuous company.” explains Benoît Varin, co-founder and sustainable development director.
An ambition shared by the new investors
The ambition of the new investors, through their capital base and the companies they represent, is to help Recommerce Group become the market leader.
For Bruno Bonnin, Director at Capzanine, “this transaction fits perfectly into the Capzanine 4 Flex Equity funding strategy, which seeks to support SMEs and mid-cap companies with high growth potential, giving them the means to pursue their development. We were particularly impressed by the quality of Recommerce’s management team, who have been able to combine growth and profitability while developing the technological tools and strategic partnerships to build growth in the coming years.”
Florent Thomann, Executive Director of CREADEV, adds: “We’re happy to join the founding and managerial team, at this decisive moment in the company’s expansion. Together they have successfully constructed and rapidly developed a value proposition which is unique in their market. We are pleased to support teams which have patiently constructed their projects on strong personal and technological foundations and have gone on to demonstrate their potential for growth. By helping the team to plan for the long term and by facilitating commercial and international synergies with chains in the Mulliez ecosystem, we want to help it realise this potential on a large scale.”
RECOMMERCE GROUP is a pioneering company in refurbished smartphones and services related to second-life cellphones. Founded in 2009, Recommerce is the European expert in smartphone buyback, refurbishment and resale. In particular, the company distributes its refurbished products under the consumer brand name “Recommerce” in a number of European countries via telecom carriers and distributors. Firmly committed to the circular economy and sustainable thinking, the company promotes the buyback and reuse of cellphones using technologically sophisticated commercial and financial methods. The company draws largely its performance from the implementation of artificial intelligence technologies applied to the industrial sector and the specifics of the second-hand market.
Founded in 2009 by Pierre-Etienne Roinat, Cédric Maucourt, Antoine Jeanjean and Benoit Varin. Previous fundraising rounds: series A for a total of 1 million euros with 3T Capital, Bouygues Développement and OPALIC in 2010; series B for 10 million euros with Seventure Partners (Natixis) and the Fonds Ambition Numérique (Digital Ambition Fund) managed by Bpifrance within the framework of the Future Investment Programme, in 2013.
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Founded in 2004, Capzanine is an independent European management company, specialising in private investment. Capzanine supports companies in their plans for growth, providing them with the financial and industrial expertise needed for successful completion of their transfer or development phases. Capzanine offers small and mid-cap companies flexible, long-term funding solutions. Depending on the circumstances, Capzanine invests as a majority or minority shareholder and/or private debt provider (mezzanine, unitranche, senior debt) in unlisted small and mid-cap companies valued at between €30M and €400M. While generalist in nature, Capzanine offers particular support to companies generating strong value in the health, technology, agrifood and services sectors. Based in Paris and led by its partners, Capzanine currently has €2.5M of assets under management. Some of its recent investments include FitnessPark, Acteon, MCA and Tessi.
- Site Web : www.capzanine.com
- Twitter : @capzanine
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Creadev is a French private equity investment firm, controlled by the Mulliez family, which is committed to long-term collaboration with innovative and passionate entrepreneurs who share its values of developing the entrepreneurial spirit and encouraging autonomy among all employees.
Based in Paris, Shanghai, New York and Nairobi, it invests in companies which help to ensure widespread access to essential goods and services, such as food and healthcare, education and employability, and the environment.
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