New online store for refurbished smartphones

Aurel Constantin 06/04/2020 | 10:51

Romanian startup fenix.eco is launching today, April 6, its online store os second-hand smartphones. Fenix.eco currently boasts over 20 high-end refurbished smartphones models, costing on average 50 percent less than new.

“Fenix.eco is an online store for smart buyers. Without compromising on quality, our clients save an average of 50% per phone. We have incorporated the principles of the circular economy in our business model, which makes our solution even more compelling in these challenging times,” said Serial Entrepreneur and Business Angel Gregoire Vigroux, who has invested EUR 200,000 in fenix.eco, and co-founded the company with former Amazon Executive Adrien Arnoux.

Fenix.eco phones bring a new value proposition to the Romanian market, giving consumers many of the advantages of a new smartphone, including the customer experience, quality and guarantee, but at the price of a second-hand model. The online shop sells 12- to 36-month-old Apple, Samsung and Huawei smartphones, which are professionally cleaned and fully refurbished by an ISO certified partner.

All fenix.eco phones are sold with a 12-month guarantee. Buyers across Romania receive their package within 24 to 48 hours of placing their order on fenix.eco. As well as the refurbished phone itself, the sealed fenix.eco box contains accessories, including a new cable and new headsets.

“On top of being an economical choice for buyers, fenix.eco is also an appealing option to those who care about the environment. Manufacturing a new smartphone is a disaster for the planet: it requires 13 tons of water, produces 55 kg of CO2e, and uses up to 35 kg of raw materials,” said Vigroux.

The global market for second-hand smartphones is expected to surge from USD 27 billion in 2019 to USD 67 billion in 2023, according to IDC. Although relatively new in Eastern Europe, refurbished smartphones are a popular choice in Western Europe. In France and Germany, they made up more than 10 percent of the market in 2019.

“Nearly 5 million smartphones are sold in Romania every year. Our long-term ambition is to conquer 10 percent of this market, which equates to selling 500,000 phones annually. This is our plan just for Romania. We are currently in talks with investors to expand fenix.eco to other three Eastern European countries in 2021. So far, I have invested in 12 startups in Romania and launched 5 companies on my own. But I have to say, fenix.eco is probably one of the most exciting business adventures I have ever been involved in,” concluded Vigroux.

Among other businesses, Gregoire Vigroux is a founder of TELUS International Europe (formerly CallPoint). The outsourcing company currently employs 5,000 team members in Bulgaria and Romania.

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