Grover, a leading European consumer-tech subscription platform, has agreed 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. Michael Cassau, CEO of the Berlin-based Grover, was one of the EU-Startups Summit speakers in 2019, and a guest our EU-Startups Podcast.
As the German scale-up now gears up for the next phase of growth. Grover has recently also welcomed new high-profile members to its board, including former media executive Joanna Coles, former Klarna Board member Sarah McPhee, former Snap CFO Lara Sweet and Colleen DeCourcy, Chief Creative Officer of Snap.
In the current challenging market environment, the recent funding is an important endorsement of the strength of Grover’s business model. As inflation and the cost of living continue to rise, consumers are flocking to Grover’s tech rental platform to access the tech they need without large upfront expenses or long-term financial commitments. Its customer base has grown by more than 50% since the beginning of the year with demand particularly strong in the US and Western Europe, and in the B2B segment. With the new funding, Grover will continue to bridge the digital divide for consumers around the world.
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 it’s essential we make sure access to tech is equitable. In the last months, we’ve been seeing the tech rental movement gaining further momentum as consumers turn to more flexible and sustainable solutions amid increasing costs of living. The fresh capital allows us to meet this growing demand in existing and new markets.”
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.“
To date, Grover has raised €800 million in debt funding in Europe and $250 million in the USA. Asset-backed lending is gaining popularity among companies and lenders active in the Circular Economy space, as it enables new businesses to acquire physical goods with non-dilutive capital.
The partnership is a result of Grover’s commitment to accelerating a societal shift away from tech ownership to a circular economy, by keeping products in use for longer and precious materials out of landfill. Grover’s products are returned, refurbished and recirculated until the end of their usable life. Devices are used by (on average) four different users over several years. As of July 2022, Grover has rented out more than 1million devices. According to proprietary data, their tech subscription model has curbed the purchase of 134,000 new devices between 2015 and 2020, saving 210 tonnes of e-waste from landfill. The young company currently has more than 800,000 items in circulation covering the entire consumer electronics spectrum.
In this exceptional year for Grover, the tech subscription platform has expanded in its fastest growing market – the US, continues to accelerate its embedded finance strategy with the Grover Card and plans to launch a new B2B software tool in the US, the Netherlands, Spain and Austria in 2022.