Buy, Trade, Sell Refurbished Electronics At Up To 70% Cheaper
Philip Franta and Fabien Rastouil first met during the Antler start-up program in 2019.
The two clicked immediately when they realized they shared the ambition to build a fast growing, sustainable business.
They initially worked on an idea that revolved around the well-being of the business, but soon realized they could have a bigger impact by creating a circular economy for tech devices.
They felt that this particular space had “thrived in many other regions,” but observed that the South East Asia (SEA) region lacked a business in this space, so they wanted to fill the void.
Philip and Fabien both have had experiences working in this industry, so they are confident in their idea from the start.
“Fabien was one of the first members of the Recommerce team, a pioneer in Europe that allowed telephone operators to exchange. I myself have had the experience of the rental space for consumer electronics, ”said Philip, co-founder and CEO of Reebelo.
“Together we set out to build Reebelo and tackle the huge problem of the growth of electronic waste and high prices for technological devices.”
Savings and sustainability
According to Philip, electronic waste is the fastest growing category of waste in the world. Collectively, the world produced 50 million tonnes of electronic waste in the last year alone.
Over 70% of electronic waste is not properly recycled and ends up polluting landfills in underdeveloped countries.
Regionally, Singapore is the largest producer of electronic waste in South East Asia (SEA). They therefore felt that Singapore was the “right place” to launch Reebelo.
The online marketplace for refurbished electronics allows you to buy, trade or sell; and was founded with the vision to refresh the way people consume electronics.
We believe there is a more sustainable way to consume tech devices than is currently practiced.
With technological devices becoming more expensive although they are replaced more often, Reebelo promises to offer fully functional and certified quality electronic devices at affordable prices.
– Philip Franta, co-founder and CEO of Reebelo
According to Philip, Reebelo customers can get electronics products for up to 70% of their retail value – depending on categories, brands and models.
He added that the average savings would likely be between 30 and 40 percent for devices that are like new.
In addition to affordability, purchasing refurbished electronics is also a sustainable option.
“We also offer buy-back solutions that allow customers to sell their devices to our retrofit partners. In this way, we are able to prevent old and aftermarket technological devices from accumulating dust in our drawers and extending their service life (duration). “
More recently, Reebelo partnered with the Lendor rental platform to offer consumers a wider variety of rental devices such as laptops, tablets and even mobile phones.
For example, if you need a temporary replacement for your device, you can simply rent one from Reebelo instead of buying a new one.
Alternatively, you can also rent a device to try it out before committing to a purchase.
Create a “ legitimate ” market
Reebelo launched in October 2019 and Philip believes the timing was “perfect”.
Commenting on the commercial traction so far, he said Reebelo had “picked up momentum quite quickly in Singapore”.
Regardless of their strong growth, they still face business challenges.
On the one hand, the team is struggling to educate consumers on the relevant issue of e-waste, although they have found that consumers are becoming more involved and concerned about sustainable consumption.
Second, they struggle to establish themselves as a quality, trustworthy market.
“We are tackling this by showing our Reebelo vision, one customer at a time. … We really care about the satisfaction of our users. “
Reebelo is advertised as a registered second-hand goods dealer and is under surveillance by Singapore Police.
To ensure quality, their used devices are guaranteed for up to 10 months, and they also offer free returns for seven days as well as free shipping. These help to build consumer confidence.
Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic posed as another business challenge for the startup.
“During the lockdown, we hired and onboarded a number of new team members, many of whom we hadn’t seen in person.”
Its team now has around fifteen members and is still recruiting in the midst of the pandemic to support its growth.
“(We) focus on hiring the right team members who can not only bring skills, but also fit into (our) corporate culture. We believe in flat hierarchies and that everyone on our team can have an impact with their work, ”said Philip.
On the positive side, the pandemic has accelerated the rise of e-commerce.
“Fortunately for us, the phenomenon of working from home presented an opportunity as it increased the demand for affordable technological devices, which Reebelo was able to offer.”
Philip recognized that Singapore is a competitive market with well established brands.
“We believe that Reebelo’s focus on our sustainability vision and our customers sets us apart from many other players.”
Expands to Australia, looking at other markets next
Reebelo raised a US $ 1.25 million seed funding round led by June Fund, with participation from Antler and several additional angel investors and entrepreneurs.
Our mission is ambitious – we would like to pioneer the circular electronics economy across Asia-Pacific and contribute to a healthier planet core.
While we are profitable at the unit level, our goal for the future is to continue to fundraise to continuously increase our social impact.
– Philip Franta, co-founder and CEO of Reebelo
Following the funding, Reebelo recently expanded to Australia in October 2020.
Explaining the decision, Philip said scaling up in a small market like Singapore is a challenge and that there are many interesting markets in the region with high growth potential.
“We chose Australia because we had good industry knowledge in the Australian market and a strong local team that helped us build a solid foundation for Reebelo Australia,” he added.
The startup plans to expand into other markets in the region, but Philip has yet to disclose which markets it is eyeing just yet.
However, he said they were on track to meet their goal of acquiring 10,000 customers this year.
Featured Image Credit: Reebelo
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