French refurbished tech gadgets platform Back Market raises $335M

On Tuesday, in a statement, online platform for buying, selling and servicing of refurbished tech gadgets Back Market said, it has raised $335 million in its latest funding round which valued the company at $3.2 billion.

Back Market started in 2014 in France with “the aims to make it easier for customers to buy refurbished gadgets like iPhones without having to worry that the seller may be peddling stolen or broken goods,” said CEO Thibaud Hug de Larauze.

In order to ensure the quality of the refurbished goods, Back Market has a strict onboarding policy, said Hug de Larauze. Merchants joining Back Market have a sales limit of just five items per day for 40 days so as to prove that their products have indeed a low failure rates and that their customer service meets quality assurance standards.

“We basically take all the feedback from the clients. We make a quality score. And then thanks to that quality score, we only push the best sellers to the end user,” said Hug de Larauze.

According to his estimate, the refurbished gadgets market is around $100 billion annually, which includes many of the buy-back programs by smartphone and laptop makers. The market has scope for further growth given that many segments, including gaming consoles and smart homes, lack an easy access to the refurbished market.

In order to create vibrant markets for such goods, Back Market has launched a program allowing consumers to sell their used gadgets online.

Back Market’s latest funding round was led by private equity firm Generation Investment Management and General Atlantic. Incidentally, Generation Investment Management is a sustainability focused investment firm whose co-founder and chairman is former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

Back Market has around 5 million customers across 13 countries with 1,500 sellers on the platform.

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