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December 5, 2022

New Romanian startup attacks the smartphone market

Romanian startup fenix.eco has launched on Monday  April 6, its online store. Fenix.eco currently boasts over 20 high-end refurbished smartphones models, costing on average 50% less than new.

“Fenix.eco is an online store for smart buyers. Without compromising on quality, our clients save an average of 50% per phone. We have incorporated the principles of the circular economy in our business model, which makes our solution even more compelling in these challenging times,” said Serial Entrepreneur and Business Angel Grégoire Vigroux, who has invested 200,000 EUR in fenix.eco, and co-founded the company with former Amazon Executive Adrien Arnoux.

Fenix.eco phones bring a new value proposition to the Romanian market, giving consumers many of the advantages of a new smartphone, including the customer experience, quality and guarantee, but at the price of a second-hand model. The online shop sells 12- to 36-month-old Apple, Samsung and Huawei smartphones, which are professionally cleaned and fully refurbished by an ISO certified partner.

All fenix.eco phones are sold with a 12-month guarantee. Buyers across Romania receive their package within 24 to 48 hours of placing their order on fenix.eco. As well as the refurbished phone itself, the sealed fenix.eco box contains accessories, including a new cable and new headsets.

The Bucharest-based French Entrepreneur added, “On top of being an economical choice for buyers, fenix.eco is also an appealing option to those who care about the environment. Manufacturing a new smartphone is a disaster for the planet: it requires 13 tons of water, produces 55 kg of CO2e, and uses up to 35 kg of raw materials!”

The global market for second-hand smartphones is expected to surge from 27 billion USD in 2019 to 67 billion USD in 2023, according to IDC. Although relatively new in Eastern Europe, refurbished smartphones are a popular choice in Western Europe. In France and Germany, they made up more than 10% of the market in 2019.

Vigroux concluded: “Nearly 5 million smartphones are sold in Romania every year. Our long-term ambition is to conquer 10% of this market, which equates to selling 500,000 phones annually. This is our plan just for Romania. We are currently in talks with investors to expand fenix.eco to other three Eastern European countries in 2021. So far, I have invested in 12 startups in Romania and launched 5 companies on my own. But I have to say, fenix.eco is probably one of the most exciting business adventures I have ever been involved in!”

Among other businesses, Grégoire Vigroux is a founder of TELUS International Europe (formerly CallPoint). The outsourcing company currently employs 5,000 team members in Bulgaria and Romania.


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