Back Market raises $335M for its refurbished device marketplace, now valued at $3.2B

French startup Back Market — a marketplace for refurbished electronics goods — has raised a $335 million Series D funding round led by General Atlantic. Today’s funding round values the startup — which says it now has 5 million customers globally — at $3.2 billion, the company said. It will be using the funding to expand into new markets.

At a time when mobile phone makers are seeing declines in sales due to slower renewal cycles, and incrementally fewer features added into newer models, Back Market provides another alternative to people who don’t want to pay full price for a device that might still be in good condition and new to the user, if not altogether new itself.

Consumers can buy refurbished smartphones at different price points, with the stock ranging from old models through to recently released devices. Prices vary depending on the model and the condition of the device. Other stock includes laptops, tablets, headphones, gaming consoles, and other gadgets and consumer electronics.

The company is also part of what you might more generally call the circular economy, where people are recycling items back into the sales market to extend their life.

Used good sales are of course nothing new, but in more recent years the vast availability of new and cheap goods has taken consumers out of the habit of thinking of used as having much attraction or value — witness sites focused on used goods like eBay now quite dominated by new items. However, the concept (Read more...)