Grover secures $1bn to expand its electronics rental business

28 Jul 2021

Grover CEO Michael Cassau. Image: Grover

The Berlin-based start-up plans to expand in new and existing markets, capitalising on a shift in consumer preference to avoid e-waste.

German start-up Grover has raised more than $1bn in a mix of asset-based and equity financing to expand its consumer tech lending services.

The Berlin-based company rents out electronics products to customers on a monthly subscription basis in order to promote a circular economy and reduce e-waste.

Grover said it has seen a spike in users over the last year as people look for more flexible ways to access the tech products they need. Its annual recurring revenue reached $60m in 2020 and it said it nearly doubled its subscription base in the first half of this year.

The fresh financing includes a $1bn asset-backed facility from London-based Fasanara Capital and an increase to its Series B funding round from $71m to $100m. Previous backers of the company include JMS Capital-Everglen, Samsung Next and Augmentum, among others.

With this new financing arrangement, Grover plans to establish a separate entity that will be responsible for acquiring and owning the tech products it lends out.

This will help separate ownership of assets from the subscription platform, Grover said, allowing the company to focus on development, acquisition and expansion.

It is already active in Germany, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands, and plans to launch in further markets later this year.

Shifting consumer preferences

Grover was founded by CEO Michael Cassau in 2015.

The company said it has circulated 475,000 products since then, which includes computers, phones, wearables, cameras, gaming and home entertainment equipment. When a customer’s subscription has finished, products are recirculated, refurbished or recycled.

“Consumer electronics are fundamental to modern life and we believe that everyone should have access to the tech they need at prices they can afford,” Cassau said.

“However, the linear nature of society’s consumption over the years has led to e-waste becoming the fastest-growing waste stream in the world.”

According to the UN, more than 50m tonnes of e-waste is produced globally each year, of which only around 20pc is recycled. Grover aims to have 5m product circulations by 2024, which it claims could prevent 24,000 tonnes of e-waste.

“We’re capitalising on a major shift in consumer preferences to bring more tech to more people, while reversing the alarming e-waste trend that has such severe environmental consequences,” added Cassau.

Fasanara Capital CEO Francesco Filia said that Grover is “well on its way” to dominating the tech subscription market.

“Consumer preferences are quickly steering towards a subscription economy for electronic products, and as Europe’s fastest growing company in that space, Grover is poised for significant growth as a result.”

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic