Refurbed – An Amazon for refurbished electronic devices

Medium close-up of the start-up Refurbed’s three founders. Refurbed runs a sustainable online marketplace for refurbished electronic equipment.

Why start an online shop for refurbished electronic devices? Refurbed’s founder, Peter Windischhofer, had bought a used mobile phone from a second-hand website, but it broke after just a few weeks. As there was no guarantee on the phone, he had to pay out of pocket for a new device.

Thus, the idea for Refurbed was born: a platform for refurbished high-quality products with uniform quality, safety and guarantee standards.

Refurbed’s start-up story

Refurbed was founded in February 2017 as an e-commerce platform enabling consumers to buy used electronic devices easily and without risk. With co-founders Kilian Kaminski and Jürgen Riedl on board, a short and successful test phase began. The online marketplace now has over 400 models of electronic devices available from a total of ten retailers. Refurbed is thus an intermediary, offering refurbished devices from stockists on its website without having to procure, repair or market these itself. The start-up makes its marketplace available – for commission – to any number of high quality retailers. Despite its relative youth, the team of founders benefits from extensive experience: For many years, Peter worked as a consultant to a large European marketplaces on the topic of digitalisation. Kilian brings with him valuable industry knowledge as the former head of the “Refurbished Products” programme for the biggest electronics retailers at Amazon Germany. Jürgen has been living out the digital revolution for some years now as an entrepreneur and software engineer in various start-ups. Together, they aim to make e-commerce sustainable.

This is Refurbed’s niche

Refurbed addresses an exciting market that has been overlooked until now, both socially and economically. The team works closely together with professional refurbishers who relieve large corporations or telecommunications providers of the problem of recycling electronic devices by repairing and certifying old devices, and guaranteeing these for at least one year. Refurbed is thus playing a key role in preventing some of the world’s electronic waste from being disassembled in developing countries, incinerated or ending up in landfill. Refurbished products have a 60% to 80% lower environmental impact than comparable new equipment. Toxic chemicals and greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided to a significant extent and the lifespans of used electronic devices prolonged.

Why Refurbed impressed Munich Re and ERGO

In September 2017, the start-up’s team won over a jury comprising staff from Munich Re, ERGO and Climate-KIC with lots of enthusiasm, existing partnerships with dealers, and its active marketplace, which has already secured an initial customer base in Germany and Austria.

Successful cooperation with ERGO Direkt

Working together in Climate-KIC’s accelerator programme led to a successful partnership. Since January 2018, ERGO Direkt has been offering insurance for electronic devices purchased through refurbed covering, for example, impact and water damage. This not only makes refurbed more attractive for customers, but also enables Munich Re and ERGO to support and promote the principle of sustainability behind the marketplace.

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