The global circular economy, comprising the sale of secondhand and refurbished goods, was valued at about $339 billion in 2022 and is poised to more than double by 2026. Much of this is driven by consumer behavior to reduce waste and have more sustainable consumption of goods.
Singapore-based Reebelo, a marketplace for affordable and sustainable consumer electronics, has had a passion for keeping electronics out of landfills since it was started by Philip Franta and Fabien Rastouil in 2019.
“In the beginning, it was very much focused on phones,” Franta told TechCrunch. “Now, we also went into gaming and then ‘close by’ categories, while some markets went a little bit outside of consumer electronics to become a good place for sustainable consumption.”
The marketplace includes pre-owned devices, like laptops, tablets, smartwatches, phones and gaming, that are available for purchase at up to 70% savings. The company offers one-year warranties, certified sellers and 30-day free returns. In addition to Singapore, Reebelo services Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and South Korea.
TechCrunch has followed the company’s journey from raising a seed round in 2020 to a $20 million Series A round in 2022. Now the company is back with an additional $29 million in Series A extension dollars and a new U.S. headquarters in San Mateo, California, its first in the United States. This brings Reebelo’s total Series A round to $50 million.
Reebelo’s approach to the circular economy is resonating. It boasts over 200,000 customers and experienced a 12x growth in gross merchandise value in the past two years. In addition, global sales tripled in the last year, with the U.S. growing to 25% of total sales, Franta said.
That U.S. presence, around less than a year, is already the company’s second-largest market, with over 21,000 customers, and is expected to jump to first in less than six months, Franta added.
In the past year, the company has been working on embedded financial services, including a buyback program that enables users to sell unwanted devices for cash and device upgrade options. Its warranty program, ReebeloCare, which offers two years extra protection, screen and battery swap, has caught on with users to the tune of 330% year-over-year growth in the last year.
Meanwhile, the new financing round was led by Cathay Innovation with participation from Moore Strategic Ventures, Gandel Invest and Antler. It will enable Reebelo to grow its U.S. presence to 50 team members and a second office while also investing in existing markets, like Singapore, and expanding into Canada later this year. The company will also test some new categories as it grows in the electronics space.
“We still have a lot to grow within refurbished electronics,” Franta said. “It’s also about becoming the most trusted place for refurbished tech. Beyond this, we are testing a few related categories. Gaming is super interesting and mobility is quite interesting, so that’s what we mainly want to look into in the next few years.”