Swappie, the specialist in purchasing and selling refurbished iPhones, has just given the millionth device a second life. However, the Finnish company still sees a lot of growth potential. According to data from the European Union, only 15% of old telephones are currently recycled or repaired.
Swappie was founded in Helsinki in 2016 as a team of four people and is now active in several European countries with more than a thousand employees. ‘We have seen the company grow enormously in six years’, says Gregory Coffiner, country manager for Benelux. “The business model we’ve adopted has proven to be highly scalable. This allows us to meet the growing demand for refurbished devices.’
A recent study by Counterpoint Research shows that the global market for refurbished smartphones grew more than three times faster than the market for new devices last year. For example, fifteen percent more refurbished telephones were sold worldwide compared to a year earlier. The market is expected to grow by more than ten percent per year this decade. The researchers point out that the growing popularity of second-hand phones is not only due to their lower price. The growing environmental awareness of consumers and consumer movements would also play an important role.
That trend does not harm Swappie. Earlier this year, the Finnish refurbisher was named the largest European growth company by the Financial Times. According to the list of the British daily, Swappie achieved a total turnover growth of almost five hundred percent between 2017 and 2020, with a turnover in 2020 of 98 million euros.
This year, the company also raised 108 million euros in a Series C financing round. The scale-up says it will use this financial injection to ‘strengthen European expansion and accelerate the growth of refurbished smartphones as a whole’.
Swappie has been a member of Right to Repair since February to further support this growth. This movement, with organizations from 16 countries, calls for EU legislation that gives consumers the right to repair their own consumer products, including smartphones.