Badili, a Kenya-based smartphone re-commerce startup, has raised $2.1 million in a pre-seed funding round which had The Venture Catalysts, V&R Africa, Grenfell holdings, SOSV, and angel investors from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and India in participation.
Founded early this year by Rishabh Lawania (CEO) and Keshu Dubey (CTO), Badili purchases phones through its platform and its network of stores and agents around the country and then uses its price estimation algorithm to evaluate the worth of the phone, which takes into consideration numerous criteria such as the phone’s age and model. The phones then get refurbished, repackaged, and resold with a one-year guarantee.
Badili is entering the booming market for refurbished and used mobile phones, which is anticipated to reach $146 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 11% between this year and 2030, thanks in part to rising smartphone penetration in emerging markets.
According to one of the co-founders, the startup collects the sellers’ information, including their I.D. and mugshot, and also requires them to sign an affidavit confirming that they are the legitimate owners of the devices. Badili has also built up a system that may alert regular sellers for additional precautions.
With the new funding, Badili plans to explore new growth opportunities in West Africa, where it hopes to tap an increasing demand for affordable second-hand smartphones, even as it scales its operations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
“We are launching in Uganda and Tanzania and have established strong partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Within the next six months, we will be expanding to a few West African markets to get our foot in the door of some of the major markets in Africa,” said Lawania.