Swappie, a Helsinki-based refurbished electronics marketplace, has raised a $40 million Series B round from TESI, as well as existing investors Lifeline Ventures, Reaktor Ventures, and Inventure, all of which participated in Swappie’s $5.6 million Series A in 2019.
Founded in 2016 by Sami Marttinen and Jiri Heinonen (CMO), Swappie refurbishes smartphones and sells directly to consumers via its online store. Headquartered in Helsinki, the company operates its own refurbishment factory in the Nordics. “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,” explains Sami Marttinen, CEO and co-founder.
In a press release, the business reports rapid growth over the last two years, as more and more consumers opt for environmentally friendly phone upgrades. Swappie says 2019 revenues quadrupled from the previous year, surpassing $35 million. During the coronavirus lockdowns, the business recorded a fivefold increase in net revenue growth in April and May compared to the same period in 2019.
Tony Nysten of TESI commented on the state of the market and the Helsinki startup’s potential within it: “The smartphone market in Europe is worth over €100 billion, but used or refurbished phones currently make up just over 10 percent of that and only one in four pre-owned phones are currently re-sold. Through its rapid growth to date, Swappie has proven its ability to not just grow market share within the refurbished market, but to expand the size of the category overall.”
Currently operating in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Italy, the startup plans to use its hefty funding to expand further across Europe, starting with launches in Germany, Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands this summer.
Swappie also plans to accelerate the growth of its team. From a team of two in 2017, the company now employs over 260 people from 31 countries and aims to hire another 400 across Europe in the next year.
Photo: Swappie co-founders Sami Marttinen (CEO) and Jiri Heinonen (CMO)