Romanian startup Flip lands €1.5m from Prosus-owned eMAG, plans CEE leadership in refurbished products
Flip, a Romanian startup in the Recommerce market, landed the first eMAG Ventures accelerated investment worth 1.5 million euros and targets the leading position in Central and Eastern Europe. Launched in December 2019 by three young Romanian entrepreneurs, George Moroianu (24 years old), Alin Luca (27 years old) and Alex Burghelia (23 years old), Flip buys, refurbishes and sells smartphones.
Flip has evolved rapidly so far, reaching 50.000 customers in less than two years. They sold the first smartphone in December 2019 and they reached a turnover of 2.5 million euros at the end of last year. During this time, the team has grown to its current 50 employees. The three founders estimate a turnover of 14 million euros in 2021 and plan to expand the team to over 100 employees, by mid-2022.
George Moroianu, Alin Luca and Alex Burghelia, Founders, Flip: "Due to the initial investments, we managed to grow locally much faster than we estimated, and in order to scale our business internationally, we need technology and increased operational know-how. We have a quality product, the necessary resources, a talented team, eMAG’s support and a common vision that gives us confidence that we will succeed in becoming the main marketplace for refurbished products in the region. The investment will go towards developing the team and the product and extending Flip’s reach internationally.”
Across Europe, the smartphone market is worth over €100 billion, but used or refurbished phones currently make up just over 10% of that and only 25% of pre-owned phones are currently re-sold. Re-commerce is expected to increase in the context of stepped up efforts on sustainability, specifically on electronics where the “right to repair” drives the lifespan extension of current devices. In CEE, Flip will address a market worth 1 billion euros annually.
Bogdan Axinia, Managing Director, eMAG Ventures: "We’ve discovered three energetic young entrepreneurs who are highly motivated to take Flip to the next level, who have proved that entrepreneurship in the digital economy has good prospects, regardless of age. Also, the specific benefits of the circular economy, which allow customers to save money and contribute to environmental protection, will quickly change the way millions of people will buy and use products, not only in the smartphone market. I think that every one of us has products stored in our drawers that they no longer use, and thanks to Flip they can be easily and quickly turned into money. Flip can become the refurbished products’ market leader in the CEE in the next three to five years.”
Flip solves the safety and warranty issues that both sellers and buyers of used products were facing when using the advertising sites. Due to a thorough technical check-up and a professional refurbishing process, the sellers get their money guaranteed, and the buyers receive a like-new phone, getting also a warranty and the right of return, without a hassle and completely safe.
In the last 10 years, the trend of selling used and refurbished electronics, especially phones, has grown a lot. Western countries, such as the United States, France, Germany, are among the first to embrace the concept of the circular economy and its benefits. With the help of technology, the refurbishment processes have become extremely advanced, and the customer receives a perfectly functional like-new phone, with a 12-month warranty and a 14-day return right, at a great price.
eMAG has been supporting the circular economy for over 10 years through the resealed products program and it is no coincidence that eMAG Ventures' first investment is directed towards a company operating in this area. In addition to funding, Flip will benefit from eMAG's expertise in accelerating business through technology, operational know-how and rapid scaling of the business internationally.
eMAG Ventures is an investment program for technology companies that provide innovative products and services for end customers, both directly and indirectly. In addition to funding, eMAG will share its know-how gained over 20 years in the tech sector with all selected companies, stimulating the digital economy. Thus, the selected businesses will benefit from the expertise in business acceleration and international expansion, acquired during the development of major projects, such as eMAG Marketplace, and also from the expertise of some companies that have grown rapidly in recent years such as Sameday, Fashion Days, tazz or Zitec.