Grover’s tech rental service raises €41m in pre-Series B

1 Oct 2019

From left: Grover CFO Thomas Antonioli and CEO Michael Cassau. Image: Grover

The start-up enables consumers to rent tech devices, such as camera lenses, computers and games consoles, for a monthly fee.

On Tuesday (1 October), Berlin-based tech rental start-up Grover announced that it has completed a new €41m financing round.

The round comprises €11m from equity investors and a further €30m in debt capital. The equity portion of the funding was led by Augmentum Fintech, which invested €6m in Grover.

Future Human

The equity funding was also supported by existing investors Coparion, Circularity Capital, Samsung Next and the strategic early-stage investment arm of Commerzbank Group. The debt portion of the funding is a €30m addition to an existing debt facility with Varnegold Bank, one of Germany’s major banking partners for fintechs.

The company said the funding will be used to further expand Grover’s market leadership in the consumer electronics rental space, while fuelling international expansion.

Prior to the €41m raise, Grover had closed €60m in funding, according to Crunchbase.

How Grover works

The German start-up offers monthly rental subscriptions for a range of tech products. Grover’s business model promotes highly flexible access-over-ownership, which the company says results in maximised sustainable usage of tech devices.

A consumer can use Grover to select a product, whether that’s a camera lens, a Nintendo Switch, a computer or a coffee machine. When they’ve selected a product, they choose how long they would like to rent it for. In the case of a Nintendo Switch, for example, it costs around €17.90 per month over 12 months. A mid-2018 13” MacBook Pro costs around €70 to 90 per month over 12 months.

The company has more than 300,000 registered users, as well as a number of partnerships with major electronics retailers such as MediaMarkt, Saturn, Gravis, Conrad and Tchibo.

A hand holding an iPhone XR in its packaging beside a colourful box it was presumably delivered in.

An example of how Grover’s products look when they are shipped to customers. Image: Grover

In May 2019, the company extended its rental option to all of the 420 MediaMarkt and Saturn stores in Germany. As well as operating online, the company is represented by more than 500 retail stores in Germany.

The company recently launched its online rental platform in the Austrian market, and has plans to bring it to at least two more European markets by early 2020.

‘Future-oriented’ service

Grover CEO and founder Michael Cassau said: “I am delighted with the confidence of our investment partners in Grover’s long-term business success.

“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.”

Tim Levene, CEO of Augmentum Fintech, added that Grover is a “classic fintech disruptor”.

“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 short 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.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic