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Grover tops up debt facility to €250M to scale its renting model for consumer electronics

Steve O'Hear

Grover, the Berlin-based startup that offers “pay-as-you-go” subscriptions to the latest consumer tech, including e-scooters, has closed a new "asset-backed" financing deal, topping up an existing debt facility with Varengold Bank to a total of €250 million.

The additional capital will fuel the next phase of growth as the German company has entered scale-up territory. Specifically, it is an increase of an existing €55 million debt facility with Varengold, via an unnamed supporting debt investor, and will be used to expand Grover’s product range and for the purchasing of assets. Buying the latest gadgets to then rent them out is pretty capital-intensive, after all.

Operating in Germany and Austria, with other markets to be launched in 2020, Grover pitches itself as part of the so-called "circular economy," whereby people rent things rather than outright own them. The idea is that it offers a more sustainable form of consumption, as items can have several owners during their lifespan, and can be more cost-effective, depending on your penchant for the latest consumer electronics.

As well as targeting consumers directly, offering subscriptions via its own website, Grover also partners with major electronics retailers. This sees it essentially become a form of point-of-sale finance by letting consumers rent the item they were considering buying, with the option to purchase it outright later.

The company says it is currently present in the online channels of eight leading European electronics retailers and in more than 500 brick-and-mortar stores across Germany. It is hoping to build on this go-to-market strategy in 2020.

In addition, Grover plans to expand its B2B offering to meet continued demand from business customers. It also says it will continue to develop its e-mobility category, with the aim of making future micromobility vehicles accessible to consumers on a flexible monthly basis.