Africa’s ReCommerce Startup Badili Raises USD 2.1 Mn in Pre-Seed

By  |  November 29, 2022

Badili, an African company that buys and sells used smartphones, has raised a pre-seed round of USD 2.1 Mn, from V&R Africa, Venture Catalysts, Grenfell holdings, SOSV, Artha India Ventures, Inflection Point Ventures (IPV ) and a dozen other family offices, from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and India.

Launched in March 2022 by serial entrepreneurs Rishabh Lawania and Keshu Dubey, Badili has expanded to over 37 cities & towns in Kenya with an estimated 2 Mn USD in ARR. Badili buys pre-owned phones and sells refurbished smartphones that are tagged “as good as new, for half the price” and come with a 12 months warranty.

The global refurbished smartphone industry is forecasted to grow at an annual growth rate of 10.23% between 2022 and 2027. The overall used phone market in Sub-Saharan Africa alone was over 90 million phones in 2020, as per Badili. 

Recommerce around the world has grown at a fast pace with companies like Back Market, Cashify, Aihuishou, and Amazon Renew, amongst others.

Badili operates an eponymous platform — online, physical stores and its “hustler” network — for users to sell and buy used smartphones. Selling/buying used phones through grey markets is a highly opaque process, especially for accurate price discovery. Badili is solving this crucial challenge by deploying a price estimation algorithm.

“At Badili, we’re building Africa’s first ReCommerce company. We work on the concept that one’s trash can be one’s resource. The used devices acquired go through an extensive repair & refurbishing process and are finally sold to our network of over 250 mobile retailers in Kenya,” says Rishabh Lawania, Founder & CEO of Badili.

The company runs trade-in services for OEMs and retailers to help them sell new phones and help customer fund their new phones. Badili already has trade-in & buyback partnerships in Kenya with all major OEMs and Telcos, including Samsung & Apple. 

Badili said its devices are typically low-end, those that retail for sub-$300 when new. A large part of that push comes from the offline network, but the startup is also expanding its online channels and working to reach more consumers selling their devices.

A Badili reseller can make 3X more profit on a Badili device when compared to a brand-new one. The startup aims to expand its online-to-offline (O2O) portfolio in Kenya. It already has about 270 partner retail stores, 120 Agent, “Hustler” stores and 2 exclusive Badili stores.

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