Berlin-based startup Grover – which specialises in flexible technology rentals from computers to cameras, games and cameras – has raised €41 million. The additional capital will be used to further expand Grover’s market leadership in the consumer electronics rental space and to fuel its fast-progressing international expansion.
Grover is disrupting the consumer electronics market with its monthly rental subscriptions – a new way of accessing and using technology in Germany. It has a growing customer base of over 300k registered users so far, and strong partnerships with major electronics retailers such as MediaMarktSaturn, Gravis, Conrad and Tchibo.
In May of this year, the Grover rental option was extended to all of the approximately 420 MediaMarkt and Saturn stores in Germany. Across all of its retail partnerships, Grover is currently represented in more than 500 German electronics retail stores. By the end of 2020, this number is set to rise to several thousands of stores across Europe.
The new round consists of €11 million from equity investors and €30 million in debt financing. The equity portion of the round is led by Augmentum Fintech plc, with an investment of €6 million, and is supported by existing investors coparion, Circularity Capital, main incubator – R&D unit as well as strategic early-stage investor of Commerzbank Group – and Samsung Next. The debt portion of the round is a €30 million addition to an existing debt facility with Varengold Bank, one of Germany’s major banking partners for fintechs.
“Grover is a classic fintech disruptor,” said Tim Levene, CEO of Augmentum Fintech. “Its growth reflects a growing consumer trend for continued access to the latest electronic products. Consumers are now less concerned with outright-ownership and more concerned to have the latest device. This leads to shorter ‘ownership’ cycles. The Grover solution, growing rapidly in Germany, allows consumers to rent the latest products, and to return them at the optimal time for the consumer. We believe this way of accessing technology ‘ownership’ will be a growing trend across Europe.”
The fresh capital will fuel Grover’s move into its next growth phase and contribute to further increasing the company’s roughly eightfold growth within the last 24 months. Grover will also concentrate on developing new and innovative service offerings to expand its product range. This funding round will also drive Grover’s international expansion. In mid-September 2019, Grover already successfully launched its online rental platform in the Austrian market, and by early 2020, the company plans to be active in at least two more European markets.
“I am delighted with the confidence of our investment partners in Grover’s long-term business success,” said Michael Cassau, CEO & founder of Grover. “Our total funding amount is now in the three-digit million range, solidifying Grover’s position as a strong player in the German start-up ecosystem. This fresh funding will enable us to drive service and product innovation and bring Grover’s future-oriented rental service for consumer electronics to new and international customers beyond the German market.”
“Providing people with access to capital and banking services is our job and we love to do it most when we are able to help courageous founders like Michael Cassau realise an innovative business model,” said Frank Otten, member of Varengold Bank’s management board. “Grover has filled a gap in the German market, and we have no doubt that its product-as-a-service approach to consumer electronics will be successful in European countries beyond Germany. Therefore, our decision to participate in the current funding round was an easy one. The volume of financing we provided illustrates that we are able to support our clients on extremely ambitious growth paths.”
The new funding round for Grover follows a Series A round of €37 million in July 2018, and brings the company’s total financing volume to over €100 million to date.