The platform partners with phone manufacturers and dealers to run buyback programmes
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Spotted: Mobile phone ownership in sub-Saharan Africa has grown steadily this decade. And while this is bringing benefits to millions of people, electronic waste (e-waste) from smartphones is a growing issue across the world. Moreover, affordability remains a barrier to smartphone uptake on the continent.
One company that is aiming to change this is Kenya-based Badili. Initially focused on Kenya and Tanzania, the startup is addressing the lack of trustworthy re-commerce opportunities for smartphones in those markets. The company helps leading phone manufacturers and dealers set up trade-in programmes, and also buys phones directly from individuals.
Badili collects devices through its platform and via shops and agents. Artificial intelligence (AI) then analyses the age, physical, and functional condition of the phone, offering owners a fair price for their device without the need to haggle or negotiate. The company then refurbishes and repackages the phones before re-selling them.
The legitimacy of the process is a key concern for Badili. To provide peace of mind that the second-hand phones work properly, the company conducts pre-purchase checks before collecting them from the seller. Buyers then get a one-year warranty for the phone, and after that year is up they can sell the phone back to the company. To stop its platform from being used to shift stolen goods, Badili requires sellers to provide photo ID and sign an affidavit. Frequent sellers are subject to even more scrutiny.
Badili recently secured $2.1 million (around €2 million) in pre-seed funding, which it will use to expand its operation to West Africa – a promising market for second-hand mobile phones.
Other smartphone re-selling innovations spotted by Springwise include a guerrilla campaign advertising second-hand phones, and a telecom that recycles smartphone to reduce e-waste.
Written By: Matthew Hempstead