IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has invested $5 million in Aihuishou International Co., Ltd., China s largest secondhand electronic device reuse and recycling platform, to help the company expand its business in China. The investment is part of IFC s effort to support companies that promote innovative, environmentally-friendly practices in emerging markets.
Aihuishou provides an online pricing and bidding platform as well as logistics services and collection booths that allow users of smart phones, tablet computers and other electronics to sell and recycle their old devices in an environmentally friendly way. The company sends broken devices that cannot be reused to accredited recycling centers that are monitored by the environmental protection authorities.
"Aihuishou utilizes the power of the internet to help people in China dispose of electronic devices in an environmentally responsible manner," said Nikunj Jinsi, Global Head of IFC Venture Capital. IFC is keen to invest in companies, such as Aihuishou, that are using technology and innovative approaches to make reuse and recycling more transparent and reliable for consumers, retailers, and manufacturers around the world.
IFC led the $8 million Series B investment round. Existing investor Morningside Ventures also participated in this round. With IFC s help, Aihuishou plans to expand its offline collection services beyond Shanghai and Beijing to other larger cities in China.
The new funding showcases international investors confidence in Aihuishou s value and business model, said Aihuishou Founder and President Sun Wenjun. The innovative device collecting and recycling business has sustained rapid growth for our company and our partnerships with Jd.com, Yhd.com, and Taobao.com have enabled us to reach more consumers.
The amount of e-waste in China is increasing as consumer demand for phones continues to grow and technological advancements are giving electronic devices shorter economic lifespans. According to International Data Corporation s research, 300 million smart phones were sold in China last year.
The IFC Venture Capital team provides equity financing to early- and growth-stage companies across technology focused sectors including clean technology, communications, solid waste and water, healthcare, education, and agribusiness. IFC offers an integrated approach that combines financing based on prudent commercial principles with industry expertise and assistance in maximizing the social benefits of projects while minimizing environmental footprints.