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Dubai-based circular economy startup, Revibe, secures US$2.3mln to accelerate growth

UAE

Revibe, a Dubai-based refurbished-electronics startup, announced it has raised US$2.3 million in order to accelerate its growth within the US$6 billion refurbished consumer electronics market in the MENA region — which is expected to reach US$20 billion within the next decade. The funding round was led by Resonance, a €150m VC fund based out of Paris, and Flat6Labs, the Middle East and North Africa’s leading early-stage venture capital firm, responsible for one of the most renowned startup programs in the region.

Other funding groups supporting Revibe include Techmind, another leading French investor that is building a community of entrepreneurs and investors to help startups grow safely and more rapidly; Financiere Saint James (family office of Michael Benabou cofounder Veepee) and several business angels.

Revibe was founded in July 2022 by Abdessamad Benzakour and Hamza Iraqui, who had identified the need to create trust in the regional second-hand electronics market. The company is a B2C Marketplace for refurbished electronics, with the promise to provide customers like-new devices for 30-70% cheaper than new. Iraqui, a serial entrepreneur, was formerly a partner with BCG, and Benzakour was previously an Oliver Wyman principal, with 10 years experience in the regional telecom industry. 

“We saw that there is an abundant supply of eco-friendly electronics, both locally and through imports,” said Benzakour. “But in spite of the booming demand for more affordable green tech products, there was no established, trusted party capable of providing quality-controlled devices at scale.”

Revibe ensures rigorous QC controls to deliver on its market pledge, from the selection of suppliers and the auditing of processes, to the use of a proprietary AI algorithm to monitor quality and only retain those suppliers that meet strict operating standards. Quality criteria are governed by a thorough 50-point inspection, carried out by experts who look at every aspect of a device, from battery condition and oxidation to camera, Bluetooth, and even jacks and chargers, to ensure only like-new products are offered to consumers.

“Our promise is to provide customers with like-new devices,” Iraqui explained. “Currently, we are concentrating on Apple iPhones and iPads, some Samsung devices, and laptops. Our success has come from always meeting our pledge to customers. But we are expanding all the time and our goal is to gradually introduce all categories of electronics.”

Iraqui and Benzakour based their value proposition on sustainability, price sensitivity, and increased trust. It is these attributes that attracted Flat6Labs and other investors to the Revibe brand and encouraged their bullish outlook of the company despite prevailing economic headwinds.

“Refurbished electronics represents a massive opportunity, especially in this time of economic challenges and growing climate awareness, where consumers are more mindful of their carbon impact while facing decreased purchasing power,” said Maxime Le Dantec, Partner & Co-founder, Resonance. “When we met Hamza and Abdessamad, we were impressed by their execution and ambition to build the leading refurbishing marketplace for electronic devices in MENA.”

“We are thrilled to support Revibe in its incredible mission to develop refurbished electronic devices in order to save tons of CO2 emissions per year in the Middle East,” said David Domingues, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Techmind. “The team led by Hamza and Abdessamad has shown a perfect understanding of market challenges, and their execution has been extraordinary since Revibe’s launch.”

Revibe.me is currently growing exponentially 5x in only seven months across the GCC, specifically in the UAE and KSA. It will use the cash infusion to rapidly expand in its core markets and strengthen its operations and customer care team, based on its founders’ belief that successful scaling will only come from the company’s ability to provide quality in both products and service from the beginning. It will also develop its technology team, and make investments in marketing. Throughout 2023, Iraqui and Benzakour are additionally focusing on strengthening Revibe’s supply base while diversifying into other electronics categories such as smart watches. A subsequent funding round is expected to happen in the second half of 2023. 

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