Smartphones are replaced way before their “life expectancy“ expires because of the rapid and constant development of technology and the changing needs of modern people. So, all over the world there are billions of smartphones “locked” in a drawer, which may not be used but still “have something to offer.”
The concept of trade-in and mobile devices reselling is still not widespread and as a result only a small percentage of our old mobile phones is being fixed (the so-called refurbishment) and reintroduced in the market. This “phenomenon” “ touches” Greece where mobile reselling is still almost unknown.
In order to change this, towards the benefit of the environment first and then the consumers, two greeks with experience in technology, created Green Panda, the first Recommerce Startup which helps consumers sell their smartphones easily and quickly. Fanis Koutouvelis (Intale) and Alex Vratskides (Persado and Upstream) managed to “persuade” the greeks to say “yes” to circular economy and so far today they have recycled more than 5,000 devices.
“We are really happy because people have corresponded to Smartphones model of circular economy. It is something that was missing from the greek market and one of the reasons that we have met great demand so far.”, stated Fanis Koutouvelis.Everything started after the realization that billions of mobile phones remained unused worldwide and also because there wasn’t an easy, fast and efficient recycling solution.
So he decided that he should deal with recycling and purchasing second-hand mobile phones, offering contributory benefits for the consumer and together with Alex they finally developed this idea. How would the purchase of Smartphones become easy? How would they convince greek people to take the mobile phone out of the drawer? Finally, how consumer’s reward could become fair and instant? These questions led to the creation of Green Panda and to an innovative selling and recycling process of Smartphones that has received three international patents in the USA and Europe.
Sell a Smartphone in less than three minutes!
Green Panda basically installs the so-called “recycling ATMs” in public places and an automatic process begins that lasts less than three minutes. The Smartphone’s owner puts it in the machine’s special slot and then the machine starts “scanning” the device to detect damages.
A few seconds later, Green Panda’s offer appears on the screen. If the owner wishes to proceed with the sale, he scans his bank card or his IBAN and Green Panda will deposit the value of the device the same day. Otherwise he opts for “exit” and takes his device back.
Green Panda ΑΤΜs are found in 28 points throughout Attica and in some specific AB Vasilopoulos super markets. In case that a store cannot help someone, there is the Green Panda Car, a van with a built-in GPS, which comes to the point that the owner chooses, to assess and buy his smartphone. Whatever he chooses he has an instant profit contributing at the same time to a more important goal, the reinforcement of the circular economy and therefore the protection of the environment.
Next station Europe
Green Panda’s success the previous year has led it to a great development path. Its goal is to expand and develop its technology. Soon its ATMs will be put in 10 new spots in Athens and gradually the company will start to develop a network throughout Greece.
“Allies” in this venture are, apart from its customers, the angel investors mostly from the telecommunication sector from North America and Europe, which have invested 1,5 million euros in Round A funding.This funding will help the company reduce the ATM production cost and acquire additional flexibility for the development of a pan-european network, which is its biggest goal. After the company’s consolidation in Greece, Green Panda wants to expand its technology in Europe.