Smartphone re-commerce platform Cashify bags $90 million in new funding

Cashify, a marketplace for gadgets trade-ins and buybacks in India, has raised $90 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its business in the world’s second-largest smartphone market.

Prosus Ventures and NewQuest Capital Partners led the seven-year-old Indian startup’s Series E funding, Cashify said on Thursday. Paramark Ventures and existing backers including Bessemer Venture Partners, Blume Ventures and Olympus Capital also participated in the new round, which included some secondary transactions.

The new round, which multiples the startup’s valuation by 2.5 times since Series C funding, takes Cashify’s to-date funding to over $130 million. IndigoEdge served as the financial advisor for this deal.

Cashify operates an eponymous platform — both online and physical stores and kiosks — for users to sell and buy used smartphones, tablets, laptops and other gadgets. Users sell to and buy devices from the startup by visiting the startup’s website or app.

Additionally, Cashify also works with all top smartphone makers including Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi and Samsung to power their refurbishing programs. The startup repairs and refurbishes those devices, giving them new lives without which they may have likely ended up in the garbage bin, explained Mandeep Manocha, founder and chief executive of Cashify, in an interview with TechCrunch.

“We have covered the full spectrum, offering a full-stack solution,” he said. Smartphones business accounts for roughly 90% of the startup’s revenue, said Manocha.

The startup is tapping into India’s large market, where over 100 million smartphones ship each year and tens of millions of used smartphones get resold.

A significant number of smartphones sold in the country — and beyond — get returned to the e-commerce or retail outlets. Many of these firms work with Cashify as well, said Manocha.

But selling old smartphones requires establishing a high trust factor with consumers. Cashify has been expanding its presence in India through physical retail points in recent years to solidify this trust, Manocha said.

“We have invested heavily in enhanced refurbished capability, and at the same time, selling smartphones to end consumers. We are taking an omnichannel approach, where we have established over 120 stores of our own in 65 cities in the country. We are hoping to increase our presence to 200 cities this year,” he said.

Cashify also has operations outside of India, including in markets including the UAE, Turkey and Bangladesh. In the international regions, the firm licenses its enterprise business. The firm’s enterprise business includes offerings such as a diagnostic tool to evaluate a smartphone’s functional and physical aspects.

“For instance, if you’re an e-commerce firm that wants to start a smartphone exchange program, you can use our diagnostic tool to pick up old phones from customers’ doorsteps. In Turkey, additionally, we have empowered microentrepreneurs to build a buyback business in their market,” he said.

Cashify will also deploy the fresh funds to expand its team. The startup said it has been very cautious about hiring new talent in the past, a factor that has allowed it to not cut workforce even in the uncertain times.

“While there is a large opportunity set in the re-commerce space, Cashify has a clear edge as a category leader with its focus on customer experience and its data and tech-first approach to drive scale and working capital minimization,” said Amit Gupta, partner and head of India and Southeast Asia, NewQuest Capital Partners, in a statement.

“Its leadership position and success of the PhonePro brand are a testament to the quality of the management team and their vision for the sector. We’re excited to be a part of their journey and a part of the consumer revolution that they’re driving.”