There’s this crazy question that’s been floating around the interwebs: is Back Market legit? Let’s help you find an answer to that.
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:
Since it was founded in 2014, Back Market, has been focused on battling electronic waste and extending the lives of electronic devices and appliances. The Conscious project is one way that Back Market addresses a challenging aspect of this mission: to begin meaningful conversations with the public around the environmental impact of high-tech devices and, of course, to begin exploring solutions for them (however imperfect these might be).
Here is everything you might want to know about the project in a few lines—the concept, methodology, and even its limitations.
For your information: the project is now finished and we are currently thinking about giving it a new life. Feel free to tell us what you thought of the widget by commenting this article!
We just had a great idea: what if you gave someone special precious metals from recycled phones for Valentine’s Day?
Not convinced? It’s really not that absurd when you realize that 7% of the world’s gold is in electronic waste. So if you want to do a little something for the planet while giving an original gift, we have what you need!
Back Market has teamed up with the brand Nowa and designer Eva Schreuder to launch G.Old, a jewelry collection created from recycled phones.
We get it. It’s not easy to put your trust in a company that isn’t a household name yet, especially when it comes to electronics. After all, people rely heavily on their devices, and defects can take a while to manifest themselves. Beyond that, most folks are afraid of getting scammed.
A few days ago, four funds invested 41 million Euros in Back Market.
We’ll spare you the “it feels like a fairytale” comments. But we have to admit that such a vast sum does feel a little surreal. Oh, the fascinating power of abstraction of high finance! It almost reminds us of the dizzying heights of the subprime crisis, when billions of dollars evaporated, live on BFM Business.
“I’d rather keep my feet on the ground”
Bruce Willis, in a deleted scene from Armageddon.
Us too. So it’s not beside the point to remind our readers that this gigantic sum of money will finance a project that is very well grounded in real life, and smells strongly of coding and elbow grease.
Building a Quality Refurbishment Label
It seems obvious but can’t be re-stated enough: Back Market would be nothing without the backers who supported us from the very start to the very end. If that’s you, here you go : ♥️.
Our project’s success is due to our ability to surpass our clients’ expectations. We are more focused than ever on our sector’s main challenge: quality.
These funds will allow us to go a step further in monitoring and supporting our vendors. It will also allow us to finance 1,002 ideas for services and innovations that will make Back Market more attractive and effective than ever.
We never lose sight of our original ambition, which is to make the purchase of refurbished tech products as simple, pleasant, and human as dropping by the neighborhood corner store (before 11pm). Now we have more means to make this happen than ever.
Financing a team
Recruiting more talent, in the flesh
At each Monday Brief (Monday morning breakfasts, where we bring the team together to sketch out the week ahead), something quasi-miraculous appears: 90 talented people, representing 10 different nationalities, putting their crazy energy and creativity to use for our project.
A real sub-culture is sprouting up in our startup. An explosive, tangible cocktail of unique personalities and shared values which led us to christen our meeting room “Jabba’s Palace”, zoom around the office on scooters, and share custody of a rabbit over the weekends.
These new funds will allow us to expand this phenomenon and hire dozens of new Back Makers. Even more flesh-and-blood talent and madness.
Financing an Ideology
Changing the face of tech, in a concrete and spectacular way
Yes, these new funds do “validate” nearly four years of zealous work. Yes, Back Market has become a leader in refurbishment in Europe (by the way, did we tell you that our TV film speaks Spanish? Careful, it’s spicy).
But our ambition goes even further. Ideologically, we are still haunted by this crazy dream of making refurbished products an alternative to brand new for the general public. With the aim of reducing electronic waste and wasted resources. And geographically, we dream of doing this on the universal scale (that’s why we’ve casually starting invading America).
Basically, “the world is not enough”: we won’t stop before having changed it for good. These dizzying new funds give us the means for this very concrete ambition.
Shock’s over… now back to work!:)
Thibaud, Quentin, and Vianney
co-founders of Back Market