Paris-based renewed electronics marketplace Back Market raises €449 million and becomes one of France’s most valuable startups

Backmarket-founders

Back Market has joined France’s growing 2022 list of unicorns with mega funding this January, after reaching over €5 billion in valuation following a €449 million funding boost. This comes after a mega-funding round in May 2021 and reflects sustained belief in the young startup’s offering and French tech as a whole.

The funding was led by new investor, Sprints Capital, with continued support from Back Market’s existing investors.

Launched in 2014 by Thibaud Hug de Larauze, Quentin Le Brouster, and Vianney Vaute, Back Market is one of Europe’s leading dedicated renewed tech marketplaces. The startup brings high-quality professionally refurbished electronic devices and appliances to over 6 million customers in 16 countries – including the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, and more recently, Portugal, Japan, Finland, Ireland, Greece, Slovakia and Sweden.

 Currently, the company has a team of 650 across 4 international offices (New York, Berlin, Paris and Bordeaux).

Offering quality refurbished tech is part of a wider vision of sustainability and making circular tech the mainstream  – reflecting a growing preference and interest amongst customers for more sustainable options, without comprising on having the best-standards of tech products. 

Back Market’s co-founder and CEO, Thibaud Hug de Larauze, said: “Our goal is to make refurbished electronics the first choice for tech purchases”. This goal is part of a wider mission to grow the demand for refurbished products by delivering an experience superior to buying new, that also contributes to encouraging circular economies that help our planet. 

Alongside the fight to establish the circular economy as standard in tech, the Parisian company is also taking on electronic waste. E-waste is one of the fastest-growing solid-waste streams, far outpacing the notorious fast-fashion industry. In addition, it is far more toxic. It’s estimated that  82.6% of e-waste will not be properly recycled because today’s infrastructures simply can’t keep up with the rapid pace of over-manufacturing. 

Through reusing, repairing, and refurbishing tech for as long as possible, Back Market is helping to minimize the need to buy new devices and brings longevity to these items. Back Market is catalyzing a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour and driving the conversation around how people consume technology, one expertly renewed device at a time. 

Back Market will use the new funds to continue investing heavily in ensuring like-new product quality and delivering a world-class customer experience, with the goal of expanding its global customer base.  

Thibaud Hug de Larauze, commented: “Renewed electronics are more affordable and are better for the environment than new electronics. Now that devices on Back Market have an average failure rate of about 4%, we are in a very attractive position as a sustainable and reliable alternative to buying new. The unofficial failure rate of new devices is currently at 3% and we are continuously improving our quality control processes to approach the same level of reliability.”

In addition to quality control, customer experience is also at the forefront of Back Market’s plans, with a commitment to take ecommerce best practices a step further, offering a streamlined shopping experience with protections such as a 1-year warranty, 30-day money-back guarantee and free standard shipping with every item.

The French startup is firmly setting its eyes on US expansion with the fresh funds, meeting an increasingly insatiable appetite there for sustainable tech. The US team is expected to more than double in size, bringing in new talent with proven expertise in product design, supply, innovation, software development, merchandising as well as award-winning creatives. 

Commenting on the funding, Sprints Capital’s Managing Partner, Henrik Persson said: “Consumer demand for sustainable shopping is a trend that Sprints has been investing in for over a decade. By prolonging the lifetime of millions of consumer electronics devices and providing low-cost access to the best products, Back Market changes the world for the better. The company is well-positioned to become the global number one alternative to new tech.”