Since its inception in August 2016, Swappie has become one of the most innovative and fast-growing start-ups in Europe.

Swappie, a Finland-based online marketplace for buying and selling used smartphones, has announced a new round of funding which will enable it to expand its operations into Ireland and other European markets.

The ecommerce business refurbishes and resells used iPhones, taking care of the entire process from testing and repairing used handsets, to selling the refurbished devices via its own marketplace, with a 12-month warranty.

The company, which is headquartered in Helsinki, has raised $40.6m (€35.8m) in Series B funding and plans to use the funds to accelerate international expansion, starting with launches in Ireland, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands this summer and to support the rapid growth of its team.

“As Irish consumers become more aware of the environmental impact that their purchasing decisions have, we expect to see far greater demand for high quality refurbished smartphones”

Co-founded in 2016 by Sami Marttinen and Jiri Heinonen, Swappie refurbishes phones to the highest standards using the latest technology and reduces environmental waste. By the middle of August, Irish consumers will also be able to sell their devices to Swappie.

Swappie co-founders Jiri Heinonen (left) and Sami Marttinen (right).

The latest round takes the company’s total funding raised to $48 million, with investors in the Series B round including TESI, Lifeline Ventures, Reaktor Ventures and Inventure Investors.

Environmental impact

The smartphone industry has a significant impact on the environment, with the majority of carbon emissions coming during the manufacturing process.

On average, 85-90 per cent of a smartphone’s environmental impact comes during the manufacturing process and, according to Apple’s own data, more than 56kg of CO2 is emitted in the creation of a single iPhone 11.

“(This investment) will allow us to accelerate our international expansion and make the circular smartphone economy truly mainstream in Ireland and across Europe”

With more phones than people in the world today, empowering individuals to make sustainable choices when buying a smartphone is more important than ever.

Swappie CEO Sami Marttinen said; “As Irish consumers become more aware of the environmental impact that their purchasing decisions have, we expect to see far greater demand for high quality refurbished smartphones.

“Because we refurbish every device ourselves, in our own factory, we control the whole value chain. This means we can deliver the highest quality devices, under warranty, for much less than the cost of a new phone.

“We’ve already seen fantastic demand for Swappie and we are thrilled to be announcing today’s investment, which will allow us to accelerate our international expansion and make the circular smartphone economy truly mainstream in Ireland and across Europe.”

Swappie has seen incredible demand from consumers to date, putting it at the forefront of a new wave of European purpose-driven tech scale-ups. From 2018 to 2019, the company saw its revenues quadruple to over $35 million in net revenue in 2019.

From a team of two in 2017, the company has grown to a diverse team of over 260 from 31 nationalities and plans to hire another 400 people across Europe in the next 12 months. Swappie is currently available in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Italy.

By Stephen Larkin

Published: 16 June, 2020

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