Back Market Receives New Funding As Refurbished Electronics Market Grows

Refurbished electronics company Back Market on Tuesday secured $ 510 million in funding from investor Sprints Capital. The funding now makes Back Market worth $ 5.7 billion.

The funding follows a $ 335 million Series D cycle last May and will be used to hire more people and expand the already growing customer base that spans 16 markets and five regions. Back Market co-founder and CEO Thibaud Hug de Larauze told ZDNet that a major focal point for the company this year would be building brand awareness and the benefits of refurbished devices.

“Our goal is to make refurbished electronics the first choice for technology purchases,” said Hug de Larauze. “The support and trust of these funds, along with our growing customer base, marks an important step in the Back Market journey, and more importantly, for the circular economy as a whole. ”

Hug de Larauze said electronic devices are worth $ 1.3 trillion a year, but only $ 80 billion are refurbished devices, or about 6%. Yet the industry is growing. For example, Back Market’s customer base has grown exponentially in recent years, from 1.5 million in July 2019 to five million in 2021 and six million in 2022.

“The second-hand circular economy is no longer a concept, it’s happening,” said Hug de Larauze.

An important factor in the growing remanufactured electronics industry is consumer awareness of the environmental implications of electronic waste (e-waste). Hug de Larauze said that five years ago only 3% of consumers used Back Market for ecological reasons, but that number has now grown to over 25%.

“I think, especially in the last two years with the pandemic, people are realizing that we have to do better for the planet and behave more responsibly in the way we live and consume,” he said. he declares.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), electronic waste is the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America. The world produces up to 50 million metric tonnes of electronic waste per year, weighing more than any commercial airliner ever built. Back Market’s technology reuse, repair and refurbishment model minimizes the need to throw away the older devices that produce this electronic waste.

In the end, Hug de Larauze said he believes that in the next 10 years the electronics market will be 50/50, which means that half of the electronics purchased will be new and the other half will be new. half refurbished. However, the key for this reality to happen will mean that companies must provide greater access to replacement parts.

“To me, [access to spare parts] is the biggest game changer, and I see that happening with the FTC pushing hard in the United States with the right to redress, ”said Hug de Larauze. “I think it will happen in the next year or two that manufacturers will just need to release their spare parts and make them accessible for repair.”

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