Amsterdam-based sustainable smartphone company Fairphone has raised €49 million in a new funding round led by new investor Invest-NL and
existing shareholder Quadia via its Regenero Impact Fund. The round also saw participation from existing backers DALHAP, DOEN Participaties, and PDENH.
According to the company, in addition to furthering its brand position and strength, a portion of the capital will be to settle existing loans (debt funding), and see a partial exit of existing shareholders PYMWYMIC and some 1,000+ participants in early crowdfunding rounds.
“Over the past years, Fairphone has been able to transform from a social movement to an impactful mission-driven company. I would like to thank all shareholders who have supported us over the years,” said Fairphone CEO Eva Gouwens.
Let’s be honest, we all know that in order to get that handheld computer in our collective pockets, somewhere along the line from earth material to tap-to-pay, some less than scrupulous activities have taken place. Even if you’re not blatantly aware of the tremendous environmental impact the mining of aluminium, cobalt, copper, gold, palladium, platinum, silver, tantalum, tin, and, tungsten, all metals found within a smartphone, has, deep down, you know it, I know it, and Fairphone knows it too.
And for the past 13 years, Fairphone has been doing something about it. The B Corp-certified smartphone maker produces mobile telecommunication devices that are machined from aluminium from ASI-certified vendors and feature a 100 percent recycled plastic back cover. On the power front, the coming is working to integrate fairer cobalt and lithium into the batteries keeping consumers connected, and the company is the only smartphone manufacturer with Fairtrade gold in their supply chain.
The company's flagship model, the Fairphone 4 can be had for as little as €579,00, and in line with Fairphone's ethos from the beginning, is modular. Meaning, that screen that you broke whilst fumbling for something in your bag, or that brought a cheer of delight from the kiddo and horror to a certain parent's face, you know, the one that a certain manufacturer wants to charge you and arm and a leg to replace? Over at Fairphone, that replacement will cost you a whopping €79.95. That's it.
Beyond just what they themselves are doing through sales of their own device, did I mention the Flagship Fairphone 4 costs a mere €579,00? the company is also demonstrating that there is a clear demand and market for ethically and sustainably produced electronics, something they’re not shy about shouting from the rooftops.
The overarching goal is for more electronics producers *cough*Foxconn/Apple*cough* to invest in improving working conditions, worker satisfaction, and sustainable business practices, as well as providing better opportunities for the communities linked to its supply chain.