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Refurbished phones platform Flip.ro with fresh €6.5M from eMAG Ventures as investors eye the circular economy

Refurbishing a phone, Canva
Image credit: Canva
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•   Flip.ro, the Romanian refurbished phones platform, announced raising a new €6.5 million investment from eMAG Ventures, the CVC of the e-commerce market leader in CEE, eMAG Group. 

•   eMag Ventures already has a 42.26% stake in the company after buying minority rights from previous investors for €1.5 million in October 2021.

•   With the new capital, Flip.ro plans to accelerate its international expansion.

 

The company set in motion its plans to enter new markets in Central and Eastern Europe by stepping into Bulgaria earlier this year, where they aim to reach 20K customers in the first year. Overall, Flip.ro has reached over 100K customers in Romania and a €13.4 million turnover in 2021.

It has been a fast ride for the company. Back when Alin Luca, Alex Burghelia, and George Moroianu founded the company in 2019, the stigma around second-hand electronics – and goods in general – was starting to fade, yet there was no established business model in the local market. 

Flip.ro tapped into the emerging consumer preference for eco-friendly shopping with a marketplace for reconditioned smartphones at affordable prices. Compared to second-hand marketplaces, Flip.ro takes an additional step by refurbishing the product close to its initial state. The 12-month warranty and right of return further guarantee a better user experience. Consumers can use the platform to sell their old phones or purchase a reconditioned one.

“Our vision is to give customers the same experience as when they bought a new product: you get a smartphone that looks and works like a new one, delivered quickly and with the same level of customer, but at a significant price difference,” the company founders say in the press release.

Next steps for Flip.ro

That the circular economy is here to stay is obvious. In the circular model, waste is minimized and products and materials are kept in the system for as long as possible. Its incentives for global consumer markets, including cost savings and contribution to environmental protection, are winning more and more users every year. 

Read more:  Your espresso can have a longer life than you think: The story of Coffe-Eco

Around the world, investors are taking note, pouring money into startups that are launching circular economy business models. Some notable deals in the space include US-based refurbished electronics Back Market’s $510 million investment round; the merger between Fenix.eco, the Romanian marketplace for refurbished mobile phones, and Recommerce Group, a European platform for pre-owned smartphones; and German unicorn Grover secured over €303 million to develop its device-as-a-service model for consumer tech.

With eMAG Ventures by its side, Flip.ro aims to become the leader in Central and Eastern Europe in the refurbished products market. eMAG’s technological and operational know-how helped the company accelerate its internationalization, as well as scale the business. Over a short timespan, the team doubled in size, reaching around 80 people, the founders explain.

“Flip is in a very good position in the market, because they have developed a product and services that meet the current needs of customers from all over the world,” says Bogdan Axinia, Managing Director of eMAG Ventures. “The Flip team demonstrated, in a short time, speed and the ability to grow and a lot of enthusiasm. We are confident that with the new investment and support from eMAG they will quickly reach customers across the region,” he concludes.

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https://therecursive.com/author/antoanelaionita/

Antoanela is a Deputy Editor at The Recursive, where she writes about climate tech, blockchain, and other high-impact innovations in Southeast Europe. She loves complex topics and translating geek to chic. Her holy grail is telling stories that have great potential for social and environmental impact. Prior to becoming a full-time journalist, she worked in various sustainability roles.
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