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European Electronics Rental Company Expands to U.S. to Tackle E-waste

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Grover, a consumer electronics rental company in Europe, recently expanded its offering into the U.S., hoping to aid in eliminating e-waste.

“Grover is tech ownership for a new generation. With affordability, accessibility and sustainability, more people will have access to the gadgets that improve our daily lives,” says Thomas Antonioli, CFO of Grover.

The company enables consumers to rent all the tech products they need for a monthly rate and return them after use. Subscribers can select minimum rental periods of one, three, six or 12 months. At the end of the minimum rental period, customers can extend their subscriptions on a monthly rolling basis, purchase the device outright, or return the product to Grover.

Waste360 recently sat down with Antonioli to discuss how the company has reduced product under-use by recirculating devices an average of four to five times, saving the equivalent of 1,500 tons of e-waste and circulating 500,000 devices.

What is the history of Grover?

Thomas Antonioli: Grover is the global leader for renting consumer electronics on-demand. We recently launched in the U.S. market, bringing flexible tech subscriptions to gadget lovers everywhere. We offer rentals of premium consumer tech at an affordable price and on a flexible schedule, inspiring consumers to prioritize renting technology and create a better, smarter, and more sustainable future.

Waste360: How is Grover driving the industry shift toward a more circular approach to consumer electronics?

Thomas Antonioli: Grover is driving the industry shift to a more circular approach to consumer electronics with its unique business model. Our process of renting out tech products to several users allows for the maximum value to be extracted from each product, resulting in users renting out the product that fits their best needs at that time. When the new iPhone comes out, users can trade in their current rental for the latest model, so the old phone can be reused instead of wasted.

Waste360: How does the rental process work?

Thomas Antonioli: Grover has created the most convenient, flexible and affordable way to access tech. In the U.S., customers can choose from more than 250 products on Grover’s website, including gadgets from leading brands such as Apple and Samsung and in categories such as laptops, smartphones, wearables, gaming, and smart home tech, to be shipped to their home. Customers benefit from complimentary damage coverage, as well as a purchase option should they decide to keep the device.

Waste360: How long can the electronics be rented for?

Thomas Antonioli: Subscribers can select minimum rental periods of one, three, six or 12 months. At the end of the minimum rental period, customers can extend their subscriptions on a monthly rolling basis, purchase the device outright, or simply return the product to Grover.

Waste360: What is the cost to rent the devices?

Thomas Antonioli: Payment is subscription-based, dependent on the term of the lease and products chosen. We prioritize affordability, especially when compared to owning tech outright.

Waste360: How do you handle security between rental customers?

Thomas Antonioli: At Grover, customers' privacy and security are taken very seriously. After return of a rented device, military-grade data wiping is conducted on all hard drives to guarantee that all personal data on the devices is erased in a non-recoverable way.

Waste360: Are the electronics wiped of all data each time?

Thomas Antonioli: Yes, Grover ensures to wipe off all the data from every device that gets rented before a new customer chooses to rent it, so they get a completely clean, blank device.

Waste360: What about sanitation of the electronics in this age of COVID?

Thomas Antonioli: Every device is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with 70% isopropyl when it is returned to Grover. Products that are worn close to the body, such as in-ear headphones and fitness trackers, are also treated with an ultrasonic cleaner.

Waste360: What success have you seen in Europe?

Thomas Antonioli: After Grover’s successful launch in Europe, we have gained over one million registered users, as well as closed a recent financing round of $1 billion. Grover’s revenue grew by 150 percent in 2020 and allowed us to give subscribers access to over 3,000 different tech products.

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