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500 employees and 50 countries in 5 years: Tartu-based circular economy company Foxway conquers more and more markets

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Celebrating its 5th birthday this July, Foxway Recommerce has ballooned into an international company employing 500 people in a few short years. Foxway has made acquisitions in both Germany and Spain, and is forecast to top 100 million euros in turnover before the year is out. The company can also be considered a sustainability pioneer in Estonia with its business model, which bases on repurposing smart tech, is both profitable and environmentally friendly.

Foxway gives used phones and computers a new lease on life, buying up pre-loved but functional smart devices collected from clients by telecommunications companies. The devices are then given a technical check-up, tested and, if necessary, repaired before being put up for sale once again. In doing so, Foxway gives at least a million smartphones a second chance every year.

Device repurposing takes place in Tartu, which is also home to home to most of its employees and Foxway Recommerce’s head office. The company has branches in nine countries and operates in more than 50. Last year it posted its most rapid growth in Western Europe, where it acquired companies in both Spain and Germany. Its biggest market at present is France, where the company has entered into long-term contracts with partners.

Foxway Recommerce CEO Agnes Makk says that rising environmental awareness has contributed greatly to the rapid growth of the company. “People are starting to realise how important is their carbon footprint is and, as consumers, they’re looking to make more environmentally friendly choices,” she explained. “It’s hard to live without smart devices these days, but if you buy one that’s seen very little use, that’s passed its technical check-up with flying colours and that’s in great condition rather than buying a brand-new one, you’ll save yourself money and reduce your footprint.”

Foxway recently released a report that helps to compare the carbon footprint generated by buying new and used devices. It points out that most resources are used to produce the device in the first place. Which means that by adding second or even third life cycles through careful and thorough maintenance, the shelf life of the device can be significantly extended. When purchasing a brand-new laptop, for example, the CO2-equivalent footprint is 312 kg, compared to a mere 6.65 kg for a used device generated in its handling and transport.

Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt remarked upon visiting Foxway that the company was an excellent example of how a green business model based on the circular economy could be just as profitable and have just as much growth potential as any other.

“What we’re looking at here is an Estonian company that’s achieved turnover of 100 million euros, created over 400 jobs with a lot of added value for Tartu, and reduced our carbon footprint by thousands of tonnes thanks to its everyday operations, and all in just a few years,” said Minister Andres Sutt. “It goes to show how much potential there is for growth in the green, digital and innovation revolutions. The state will definitely be doing everything it can to make sure that other success stories like Foxway’s emerge in Estonia.”

Agnes Makk says that demand for used smart devices is particularly high in Western Europe, with Central and Eastern Europe seen as the next markets with growth potential. These are followed by larger markets in Africa and Asia, where first agreements have already been reached. Demand has also increased noticeably in the last couple of years in Estonia, where used devices are offered by Telia (among other companies) in cooperation with Foxway.

Foxway Recommerce is a part of Foxway Group, with more than 700 employees located around the world.

For more information. Contact:
Agnes Makk, CEO of Foxway Recommerce
Phone: +372 514 4770
Email: agnes.makk@foxway.com