German unicorn, Grover which lets people rent refurbished tech consumer devices has agreed on a new €270 million debt financing facility with M&G, the international asset manager.
With the fresh capital Grover will expand its product inventory to serve rising demand from customers in existing markets such as Germany, Spain, Netherlands, and Austria and into new European markets.
As environmental concerns and human pollution of the environment worsen, many people are looking for ways to live more sustainably, and Grover has built a business around encouraging consumers to buy and ultimately discard fewer consumer electronics like phones, monitors, and electric scooters by offering them alluring subscriptions to use their stock of new or used devices instead.
New board members
The Berlin-based company has also welcomed new board members as it prepares for the next stage of growth, including former media executive Joanna Coles, former Klarna Board member Sarah McPhee, former Snap CFO Lara Sweet, and Snap Chief Creative Officer Colleen DeCourcy.
Its customer base has increased by more than 50% since the beginning of the year, with demand especially strong in the United States and Western Europe and the B2B segment. Grover will use the new funding to continue bridging the digital divide for consumers worldwide.
In total, Grover has raised €800M in debt funding in Europe, and $250M in the United States to date. Founded in 2015 by Michael Cassau, the subscription platform became a unicorn in 2022 after raising $330M funding back in April.
Rented out over 1M devices
Grover’s service enables users to keep, switch, buy, or return products based on their specific needs and budget. Rentals are available at GROVER.COM in the United States, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Spain, as well as in Germany via Grover’s online and offline partner network, which includes Europe’s leading electronics retail group, MediaMarktSaturn.
Grover had rented out over 1M devices as of July 2022. According to proprietary data, between 2015 and 2020, their tech subscription model reduced the purchase of 134,000 new devices, saving 210 tonnes of e-waste from landfill. Currently, the company has over 800,000 items in circulation that cover the entire consumer electronics spectrum.
Grover has expanded in its fastest growing market – the United States – continued to accelerate its embedded finance strategy with the Grover Card, and plans to launch a new B2B software tool in the United States, the Netherlands, Spain, and Austria in 2022.
Michael Cassau, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Grover said: “Technology is a basic human right. Grover is advancing the world to digital fluency so people will benefit from the experiences that the right technology in the right hands can deliver. Grover allows people to have access to more tech without getting into debt. Everyone now needs a substantial tech budget to provide basic access to the digital world. With persistent inflation, this is a demand that many cannot afford, and we must ensure that access to tech is equitable. In the last months, we’ve seen the tech rental movement gaining further momentum as consumers turn to more flexible and sustainable solutions amid increasing living costs. The fresh capital allows us to meet this growing demand in existing and new markets.
“M&G is one of the largest and most reputable asset managers globally and a leader in ESG investing, making them the ideal strategic partner for our circular business model. The partnership will be valuable to help us develop an impact metric to measure the positive impact we have on society, by reducing debt dependency and offering affordable access to technology, and by lengthening the lifetime of devices and reducing e-waste.”
Will Nicoll, CIO of Private & Alternative Assets, M&G, says: “Grover’s focus on developing sustainable ways to access technology is changing consumer habits for the better. By providing financing through the form of an Asset Backed Security, we are helping Grover to expand its reach, while seeking to provide our pension fund and institutional clients with attractive cashflows.”