Berlin, 15.01.2020 – Berlin-based tech subscription scale-up Grover announces today that it has closed a new asset-backed financing deal, topping up an existing facility with Varengold Bank to a total of €250 million. The additional funding will fuel the next growth phase for the Circular Economy pioneer.
The new asset-backed funding deal is an increase of an existing €55-million debt facility with Varengold Bank to a total of €250 million, via a supporting debt investor. The transaction brings Grover’s total funding volume to roughly €300 million. The fresh capital reinforces Grover’s position as the European market leader in Consumer Electronics rentals and as a pioneer in the advancement of a Circular Economy for electronics.
Grover‘s business model of renting out Consumer Electronics devices to several customers across their life cycle allows the company to provide flexible and affordable access to a variety of tech products like smartphones and tablets, while simultaneously reducing e-waste through recirculation. Last year, the company recirculated nearly 100.000 devices. Through its online channel and its integration with leading electronics retailers, Grover creates its own ecosystem and provides a platform for the €1.2 trillion global Consumer Electronics industry to substantially reduce the 50 million tons of toxic e-waste generated annually. Grover’s unique value proposition has proven popular with customers: In 2019 alone, the company recorded a 200 percent growth rate in active subscriptions and cash revenue.
The additional funding will be used to expand Grover’s product range and will go toward the purchasing of assets. This allows Grover to respond to growing demand for its service in Germany, Austria and other markets to be launched in 2020. Importantly, Grover will use the capital to further develop its e-mobility category, with the aim of making future-oriented micro-mobility vehicles accessible to the broad public on a flexible, monthly basis.
The funding also supports the expansion of Grover’s cooperation with major electronics retailers. The company is currently present in the online-channels of eight leading European electronics retailers and in more than 500 brick-and-mortar stores across Germany. In addition, the company will expand its B2B offering, in order to serve the rapidly rising demand from its business customers. In the past year alone, Grover’s B2B segment grew nearly five-fold.
Michael Cassau, founder and CEO of Grover, says: “This asset-backed financing deal is essential for the expansion of Grover’s business. With Varengold facilitating this financing round, we have a banking partner by our side who firmly believes in our business model and supports our growth. Securing this fresh funding in the three-digit million range proves once again that Grover’s disruptive tech rental model has enormous future potential – for our business partners and for our growing customer base.”
Lukas Diehl, Head of Marketplace Banking at Varengold Bank, adds: “It is important for us to build long-term partnerships by continuously adding value with a portfolio of attractive banking services for customers like Grover. To do this, we sometimes draw on our network of institutional investors. We are very proud to have found a further debt investor to collaborate with to ensure Grover’s long-term growth.”
Grover was advised on the transaction by Baker & McKenzie International, Varengold was advised by Hogan Lovells, LLP.
Grover (Grover.com) is one of Europe’s market leaders in technology rentals, bringing the access economy to the consumer electronics market, by offering a simple, monthly subscription model for the best in tech. Private customers as well as businesses get access to a wide range of over 2,000 tech products including smartphones, laptops, virtual reality (VR) gear, and wearables, profiting from flexibility and full usage rights at a fraction of the purchase price. Grover’s service allows its users to keep, switch, buy, or return products depending on their individual needs. Rentals are available in Germany on Grover.com and through Grover’s broad online and offline partner network including Europe’s leading electronics retail group, MediaMarktSaturn, as well as Gravis, Conrad, and others. As of 2019, Grover is also active in Austria with its own online platform Grover.com/at. Grover is a pioneer in the advancement of the Circular Economy: Its business model of renting out tech products to several users across their life cycle allows maximum value to be extracted from each product and reduces e-waste. In 2019 alone, Grover recirculated nearly 100 thousand devices.
Grover was founded in 2015 by Michael Cassau and falls under the access over ownership movement, which also allowed companies such as Netflix, AirBnB and Spotify to grow and succeed. With a total financing volume of 298 million to date and over 100 employees, Grover is one of Germany’s best funded startups.
About Varengold Bank AG
Varengold Bank AG is a German bank founded in 1995 and in possession of a full banking license since 2013. In addition to its head office in Hamburg, the bank has branches in London and Sofia. Its core business areas are Marketplace Banking and Transaction Banking (Commercial Banking), and its focus is on cooperation with European fintechs, in particular credit platforms. The portfolio on offer includes funding, debt and equity capital markets products, fronting services for products subject to banking licence obligations and international payment services. Members of the Board of Managing Directors are Dr. Bernhard Fuhrmann and Frank Otten, who together with an 80-person international team continuously help shape the modernisation of the financial sector. Varengold Bank is registered with the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) under 109 520 and the Varengold share (ISIN: DE0005479307) has been listed on the Open Market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since 2007. Further information can be found at https://www.varengold.de/home/
Image: Grover’s recently consolidated leadership team. From left to right: Christopher Silva (CTO), Michael Cassau (Founder & CEO), Johann Jenson (CPO), Thomas Antonioli (CTO). © Grover