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Why we invested in Badili: Charting a sustainable digital future through recommerce

By Renew Capital | Wed Jun 19 2024
Africa has undergone a transformative mobile phone revolution, yet the momentum of smartphone access on the continent is still catching up. Concurrently, the environmental toll of smartphone production has become a pressing global concern, with production and manufacturing accounting for a staggering 80% of a smartphone's total carbon footprint. Recognizing the urgency, GSMA Intelligence highlights that extending the lifespan of smartphones by just one year could mitigate up to 21.4 million metric tons of CO2 annually by 2030. Immediate action is imperative, and in this context, recommerce emerges as a pivotal force.
To tackle this challenge the refurbished mobile device market is set to exceed $140B by 2030, experiencing a remarkable surge from $50B  in 2020 according to GSMA. Badili, an East Africa-based company is leading the recommerce revolution in Africa by providing a platform where people can buy used and refurbished smartphones safely and affordably. Most of their devices cost less than half their original price and all come with a 12-month warranty.
Renew Capital invested in Badili because of its growth potential, strong founders and significant impact.
Strong Founders
Badili, at the forefront of Africa's recommerce movement, was founded in 2022 by Rishabh Lawania and Keshu Dubey. Initially concentrating on establishing a reliable platform for buying and selling pre-owned smartphones in Kenya, Badili has expanded its reach to Uganda and Tanzania. The inspiration behind the establishment of Badili stemmed from Lawania's witnessing a colleague facing legal consequences for inadvertently purchasing a stolen phone. As a result, the company is committed to providing safe and reliable used phones in Africa.
Both founders have a wealth of experience in the technology sector. Before Badili, Rishabh and Keshu co-founded WeeMedia, a content-as-a-service platform for Africa, which operates WeeTracker.com, Gadgets-Africa.com, AfriCo and Xeler8, a deal-sourcing research platform.
Demonstrated Traction
Badili has established refurbishing centers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and is rapidly becoming a major player in the mobile device industry through strategic partnerships.
  • In Kenya, they have partnered with major ecommerce platforms including Jumia, Kilimall, Jamboshoppe and Carrefour. They also have payment partnerships with Absa and LipaLater.
  • In November 2023, Airtel Uganda, one of the country’s leading telecom companies, announced a collaboration with Badili to accelerate smartphone adoption and improve internet access for Ugandans.
  • In the same year, Badili was recognized as one of the top 100 most innovative startups by MyStartupAfrica.
Orientation Towards Growth
In January 2024, Badili announced that it had raised a seed round led by E3 Capital through E3 Capital’s Low Carbon Economy Fund. This funding will enable Badili to expand into new markets beyond the East African region, ultimately contributing to the enhancement of Africa’s digital infrastructure.
"We invested in Badili because we see a unique opportunity and a strong founder. Badili provides refurbished consumer electronics that are in high demand and the business model is built on principles of circular economy and climate sustainability making it an exciting investment for Renew Capital. By supporting Badili, we are contributing to a sustainable digital future for Africa through recommerce." — Laura Davis, Renew Capital founder and co-CEO.
Renew Capital is an Africa-focused impact investment firm that backs innovative companies with high-growth potential. Renew Capital manages investments made on behalf of the Renew Capital Angels, a global network of angel investors, foundations and family offices who seek financial returns and sustainable social impact. For the latest on investing in Africa, subscribe and follow us at our social links below.

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