Mobile ‘recommerce’ specialist Redeem raises £15m

Connection Capital-led funding will back further rapid growth for Envirofone owner

Mobile phone and electronics ‘recommerce’ business Redeem Holdings has announced the completion of a £15m equity investment, led by private client investment business Connection Capital.

Founded in 1991, Redeem offers a mobile take back and recycling service (known as ‘recommerce’) to consumers, mobile network operators and businesses through a variety of channels.

95% of the traded-in devices it receives are refurbished and resold to European mobile retailers looking to source like-for-like replacements and direct to consumers in developing countries. The remaining 5% are completely recycled.

Redeem is best known to consumers in the UK under its business-to-consumer trading name, Envirofone.

Redeem has grown to become the UK’s largest mobile recycling company following a particularly strong four years of growth, in which the company expanded by around 50% per annum.

The company was listed at number 41 in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in 2012, and came in at 55 on the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 2014 list of UK mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.

Its growth has coincided with the boom in the mobile handset recycling market generally, as increasingly valuable smartphones have become widespread.

Redeem currently operates in 23 countries across three continents, with regional offices in Spain, Sweden, Estonia, Dubai and Hong Kong.

The £15m funding, which was led by £5m of Connection Capital equity funding alongside a mixture of growth capital and subordinated debt provided by Praesidian Capital Europe, will be used to back international growth and potential acquisitions, ahead of a planned flotation in 2015.

Julian Carr, partner at Connection Capital, said: “Redeem is a great business led by a high calibre management team who have gained a strong foothold in the huge yet still fast growing mobile phone recommerce market.

“The business has multiple opportunities to expand, particularly overseas, and we anticipate strong returns for our clients. We are delighted that management chose to work with Connection Capital, ahead of competition from a significant number of traditional private equity offers.”

Trevor Bayley, chairman of Redeem Holdings Ltd, added: “We are very pleased to have secured significant institutional backing to maintain our rapid growth.

“We selected Connection Capital for their commerciality and have been delighted with its rapid delivery of a competitive funding package. We will continue to review our corporate funding options, including flotation, as we plan to treble in size over the next three years.”

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