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Tech-subscription startup Grover hits unicorn status

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Grover, a German-based subscription service for consumer electronics, closed a $330 million Series C.

Why it matters: The company says its model — which involves renting everything from GoPros to Xboxes to AirPods (gross) — reduces e-waste by as much as 4x. That got the attention of the climate-focused VC Energy Impact Partners, which led the funding round.

The details: Energy Impact Partners led the series C round that consisted of $110 million in equity from EIP, Co-Investor Partners, Korelya Capital, Mirae Asset-LG Electronics New Growth Fund, and existing investors Viola Fintech, Assurant, and Coparion.

  • The round additionally included $220 million in debt financing from Fasanara Capital. Media funds German Media Pool and SevenVentures also participated.
  • The funding round pushes Grover's valuation past the $1 billion mark, making it the latest tech unicorn, the company says.

What they're saying: "The central thesis of our impact is carbon mitigation," Nazo Moosa, managing partner at Energy Impact Partners in Europe, tells Axios. "Grover marks our first investment in the circular economy — this combination of the circular economy that allows you to recycle, but also rent and extend the life" of products.

Thought bubble: If you're wondering whether this is truly a "Climate Deal," you're not alone. It's the latest investment to add to the question whether, if something is simply more efficient, does that make it climate-tech?

  • Grover describes its model as Netflix-style. Does that mean streaming, by reducing the emissions and waste associated with manufacturing, shipping, and discarding DVDs, is climate tech?
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