The Örebro-based mobile recycler Refurbly is making a seed round with Telia's former CEO Johan Dennelind and other heavyweights in the telecom industry. Now the 23-year-old founder and CEO David Lundgren Fetah wants to step up the growth.
According to the industry organization Elkretsen, around 3.5 million phones are sold each year in Sweden, which generates 301,000 tonnes of waste. That's something Refurbly wants to counteract.
Mobile phones are a major environmental culprit, an aspect that the industry does not take responsibility for. A mobile phone weighing 226 grams creates a whopping 86 kilograms of waste during production. It is not always what is seen that carries the most weight. The operators say they have green electricity for their telephone masts, while at the same time they sell mobiles that generate as much waste as possible. We think it should be a matter of course to reuse the mobiles that already exist", comments Refurbly's founder David Lundgren Fetah.
He repaired his first mobile phone as a fourteen-year-old in his father's shop Mobilverkstan and saw a gap in the industry. In 2019, he started Refurbly, an e-commerce that sells used mobiles after inspection, refurbishment, factory reset and tests by experienced service technicians. Together with Mobilverkstan, they have so far repaired over 40,000 mobile phones. In 2020 Refurbly had a turnover of around SEK 6 million.
Now the company is taking in a seed round of SEK 6 million, led by Telia's former CEO Johan Dennelind. Other investors are David Stenmarck, co-founder of Epidemic Sound, and Erik Hallberg and Emil Nilsson, both of whom were members of Telia's group management. Since before, Kenneth Karlberg, formerly of Telia Mobile and Halebop, is a board member of Refurbly.
For me, it's not just a matter of money, but of the skills we bring into the company. They are relevant people for what we are going to do, to shed light on the environmental problem that the telephone operators absolutely do not want to talk about. Here we have a large group that sees the problems and the business opportunities. We are trying to make an Oatly, fixed for telecoms," says David Lundgren Fetah.
With the money, the company will strengthen its market position and develop more new circular telecom services.
"We have competitors, but none that sell with subscriptions, something we will possibly look at", reveals the company's founder and CEO.
Johan Dennelind is happy to be part of the next phase of the company's journey and says that the segment is in strong growth.
David Lundgren Fetah is a firebrand and entrepreneur through and through who want to change the way Swedes consume mobile phones and services. Refurbly is very well prepared to challenge the larger players on the market and take a clear position in refurbished mobile phones. All investors are selected for their expertise and network and will be able to support the company in various ways during the growth phase," comments Johan Dennelind.
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