Grover, a European company that provides subscription access to consumer technology, recently secured massive investment capital, underscoring wider interest in a model that maximizes device life span and facilitates end-of-life recycling.
Berlin-headquartered Grover on July 28 announced it has secured more than $1 billion in “equity and asset-backed financing.” The company says it will “use the fresh capital to accelerate growth and global expansion in new and existing markets.”
Grover offers a wide range of devices available for lease by consumers, including computers, smartphones, drones, gaming devices, cameras, computer components such as graphic cards, and more. The company provides more than 3,000 product types available for lease, typically on a monthly basis.
Consumers pay a monthly fee to rent the devices, and when they no longer need the device, they print a label, box up the device and send it back to Grover. From there, Grover evaluates the device for quality control.
“Returned products are refurbished to an ‘as new’ condition and recirculated to make sure they stay in use and out of landfill,” the company wrote in the recent release. “When the product reaches the end of its life, Grover’s circular supply chain ensures the materials are reused or recycled.”
The investment will help the company increase the number of devices it leases, according to the release. To date, Grover has circulated roughly 475,000 devices, the company stated, and it plans to increase that figure to more than 5 million devices by the end of 2024.
The company has a few points of significance for the electronics recycling and repair world.
The device leasing model has the potential to maximize recovery of end-of-life electronics. Because all devices are shipped back to the company when leases expire or when products are no longer usable, the end-of-life stream is concentrated in one area. Consumers do not have to make the decision on how to dispose of the device.
The financial backing also suggests confidence that consumer demand for device leasing will grow in the future. Grover bills itself as a major player in the world of sustainable electronics – the company says the latest investment funds represent “the largest ever financing round for a start-up in the circular economy space.”
Fasanara Capital, the London-based investment firm that provided the bulk of recent capital, said “consumer preferences are quickly steering towards a subscription economy for circular products, and as Europe’s fastest growing company in that space, Grover is poised for significant growth as a result.”
Grover says it nearly doubled its subscription base during the first half of 2021.
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