Everyone at our office had already been anticipating stay-at-home orders to come to a (safe) close, but now we’ve reached straight-up Monster Truck Rally energy: Back Market has raised a cool 120 million dollars.
It’s a funny time to celebrate—a time when we’re not sure exactly how humanity will write the rest of the 21st century. Receiving this sum, at this moment, feels like both an affirmation of our mission and an incentive for us to write that mission into this changing world. There’s no better time than now to reintroduce a saner way of “consuming” electronics. That is, giving people the option to buy, use and discard their electronics in a way that isn’t modeled on the image of inhaling and purging that “consuming” implies.
It’s a beautiful idea, but we’re not here to wax poetic. As Biggie used to say, “mo’ money, mo’ problems,” which is why we have made very concrete plans about how these Gs are going to be put into use. In no particular order:
So. Much. Talent.
Right now, we still feel a lot like we’re at the beginning of Ocean’s Eleven; Rusty Ryan and Danny Ocean going door-to-door to assemble the perfect crew for the break of the century.
All you Terry Benedicts are going to have to behave!
We’ve brought almost 300 Back Makers on board since our start in 2014, each one seemingly more talented than the next and yet…our dream team isn’t complete. We need more of the right players to get us where we want to go. Maybe it’s you or someone you know? If you’ve got some tricks up your sleeve and are thirsting to join a company whose values make sense, give us a little click here.
Reach for the North Star (ie, Quality)
Yes, we’re going to go ahead and talk about our North Star now. Sorry for the startup cliché—basically it just means the goal that informs and aligns the actions of each member of the team. It’s that single objective we hope to attain in the medium term, usually in the form of a pithy sentence. And so ladies, gentlemen and non-binaries, this is it for the next two years:
No factual reason to prefer a new device to a refurbished one.
Sounds simple enough, but making this happen implies reaching a level of quality that perfectly equals that of new devices. We’ve never been closer to achieving this than today, but the work is far from over. What is that going to look like? It’s going to mean growing the size of our quality teams, developing new services to speed up the resolution of our customers’ problems, and strengthening our industrial expertise to benefit our sellers.
Going deep locally, branching out internationally.
Our very first customer (Hi, Hermine M.) got her order literally 16 feet from where we were first incubated in Paris. Yesterday, a Back Market order was sent to the heart of Colorado (Hello, Stephen B.), about 4,483 miles from our original headquarters. That’s a pretty good approximate of how far we’ve come, literally and figuratively, in the past 6 years.
The famous Hermine M. with Thibaud, Quentin and two friends. And some very privacy-friendly stickers of course
But…can’t stop, won’t stop. The challenge we face is a global one and it needs a global solution. With the funds we’ve raised we’re going to hunker down hard where we’re present (like in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom) while also attempting to drop some punchlines in new languages. We’re hoping Polish and Swedish before long. Nie możemy się doczekać.
At the heart of it all, we exist to sabotage the unholy reign of new devices. We do that by extending and maximizing the lives of the electronics already in circulation. But Sabotage isn’t just the purpose of our company, it’s also our modus operandi: making the most out of as little as possible. This approach extends to how we deal with the funds we’ve raised.
It’s going to take a lot to make refurbished electronics as attractive and as reliable as new electronics: A ton of enthusiasm (we’ve got it), a lot of energy (in no short supply, especially after staying home for so long), and piles of money (which we, thankfully, just got).
Time to get cracking!
Thibaud, Quentin et Vianney
Back Market Cofounders