A year after its first investment round, circular platform Valyuu received a new financial injection of €2.4 million. With the investment round, led by Rubio Impact Ventures and Slingshot Ventures, with participation from US-based Techstars, Golden Egg Check Capital and several angel investors, the Dutch startup is committed to further developing the platform, increasing brand awareness in the Benelux and international expansion.
Since its inception in 2021, founders Ferhat Topuz, Arvin Esterabadi and Jingwei Ren have been striving to encourage reuse and thereby reduce the e-waste pile. The fast-growing startup is determined to make a circular lifestyle as attractive and accessible as possible for everyone. Through Valyuu, consumers can easily buy or sell pre-owned electronics such as smartphones, tablets and wearables.
Worldwide, we are developing and buying more new electronics than ever. The throughput is rapid, so electronic devices that still work fine are increasingly ending up in landfills. If we continue like this, we are on track to generate as much as 75 million tonnes of e-waste annually by 2030. Some 54% of people do not reuse products because current solutions feel time-consuming, stressful and pointless. For example, many devices end up in a drawer as a backup first, which means they are forgotten over time.
“We have been working in the electronics market for years and see how irresponsibly stuff is handled. 80% of all electronics still function perfectly, and the remaining 20% just need a refresh. This does indicate that reuse in this sector needs a boost. With an accessible digital platform – the buying and selling process on Valyuu is very simple – we want to lower the threshold for giving discarded products a new life,” said Ferhat Topuz, CEO of Valyuu.
With over 20,000 active buyers and sellers on the platform within a year, Valyuu is combining impact with e-commerce. The platform shows that a sustainable choice can be easy, affordable and profitable. They differentiate themselves from refurbishers by being the sole party between buyer and seller and offering a complete ‘product passport’ for each product. This so-called passport offers full transparency on the product’s condition, complete with unique photos and access to test reports. As a result, consumers know exactly what they are buying. All products are validated using software and tested for functionality. If all tests are passed, products work properly and are approved by Valyuu, they are offered as certified pre-owned.
“Why we get so excited about Valyuu is the realisation that a used phone still works just fine, and it’s mainly about convenience and trust,” commented Warner Philips, partner at Rubio. “It seems like a small detail, but by not sending that phone with that little scratch halfway across the world for a new back cover, you save up to 80% of emissions, AND you can offer both buyer and seller a better price.”
Ernst Rustenhoven, who led the investment from Slingshot Ventures, stated: “Valyuu is operating in a market that we expect to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years – the lifespan of electronic equipment is increasing, making it easier for it to get a second life. Valyuu has shown that its proposition matches consumer needs. This provides a good basis to realise its ambitious growth plans.”
The startup’s future plans are to focus on further growth in the Benelux and further international expansion. Behind the scenes, this means continuing to develop the platform with new product features, expanding the product catalogue and optimising the pricing and matching technology.