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Reebelo, a Singapore-based refurbished secondhand electronics marketplace startup, has announced a US$1.25 million seed funding round. The startup’s new capital will be used to accelerate the company’s expansion into Asia-Pacific markets, as well as increase its offerings such as device rentals and bundles for companies.
The seed round was led by Berlin-based tech investor June Fund, with participation from early-stage venture capital firm Antler. Reebelo will be using the funds to support new marketing, grow its team and launch new product offerings such as rentals and bundles, with the ultimate goal of expanding its operations across Asia-Pacific.
Founded in 2019 by Philip Franta and Rastouil Fabien, Reebelo is in the business of “re-commerce” for electronic devices. It buys pre-owned smartphones, laptops and tablets, and then refurbishes and tests them before they are listed on its website for up to 70% off original prices and with extended warranties.
In addition to lengthening the lifespan of electronic devices, reducing landfill waste and demand for new production, Reebelo also partners with environmental charity One Tree Planted to offset some of the emissions generated by its operations. According to the company, one tree is planted for every device sold on its platform.
Since its inception, the startup has served more than 210,000 users, and is “aiming to keep growing in a sustainable way month-on-month,” a spokesperson told Tech in Asia.
While there has been increasing awareness about the need to combat the global waste crisis, much of the attention has been placed on sectors such as food and plastic pollution rather than electronic waste, which accounts for over 40 million tonnes of waste being produced every year.
According to global estimates, only around 15-20% of e-waste is properly recycled, while the rest ends up in landfills or are incinerated. Once it ends up in landfills, toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium and lead can leach into the soil and water.
Incinerating e-waste, on the other hand, releases harmful dioxins into the air, which has been associated with a deluge of health risks from disrupting hormones to increasing the risk of various cancers, not to mention generating even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Given that the world is becoming increasingly digital, there is a huge opportunity for a circular electronics market – to not only reduce e-waste but create value and sustainable jobs in the sector. Reebelo estimates that the market size in Asia-Pacific for refurbished electronics stands at a sizable US$4.2 billion.
All images courtesy of Reebelo.