Doji raises $3M to commoditize the price of used phones

Most people around the world don’t sell their used phones either because the process is too clunky or the price isn’t good enough. This startup is trying to change that.

Used cell phones often sit in people's drawers, but if they were to be resold, a lot of capital could be unlocked the world over.
By Marcella McCarthy (EN)
November 08, 2021 | 08:00 AM

Miami — When a new phone model comes out and people scramble to get it, what’s often left behind is a drawer filled with perfectly good used phones. Doji, a UK-based online marketplace with a Brazilian founder, is looking to change that by offering a platform with a stock market-type pricing model that commoditizes the phones therefore making the resale process easier.

“More than 80% of people worldwide don’t sell their used electronics. And in the UK, there is $16 billion worth of [used] electronics sitting in people’s drawers,” said Fernando Montera Filho, the company’s co-founder and CEO.

Today, the company is announcing the close of a $3 million Seed round led by Brazil’s Canary with participation from Norte Ventures, 1289 Capital and others.

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Montera Filho said that they’ve found that people don’t sell their used phones for two main reasons:

  1. When they find a process that they find convenient, the prices are too low
  2. When they find a website that offers a good price, the process is too complicated.

“With eBay for example, it takes two weeks to sell your phone,” he said, commenting on eBay’s clunky sales process that requires price research, several photos, and lengthy descriptions.

Fernando Montera Filho, Doji's co-founder and CEOdfd

To be clear, what Doji is proposing is that, for example, all iPhone 10′s of a certain condition - Doji offers you a few conditions to choose from - would sell for the same price, which means users don’t need to upload lengthy descriptions nor multiple photos. Since a buyer is buying an iPhone 10 of a certain condition -- not necessarily the exact one being sold -- a seller from Korea could sell a phone and a buyer in the UK could get it next day, because an iPhone 10 would ship from a UK warehouse, and not all the way from Korea.

“We’re starting with the UK, but the idea really unwraps when we go global,” said Montera Filho.

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Obviously, Doji isn’t there yet, as they are only in the UK, but the global play is the grand idea that investors are betting on. The idea gets even bigger in fact - Doji believes they can use this marketplace model to sell all sorts of electronics as well as other goods that can be commoditized such as sunglasses. And like eBay, ideally people would both buy and sell.

“For every user we try to get two sales from them. A sell and a buy,” Montera Filho said.

To date, they are still very small, having only come out of Beta a few weeks ago. At the time of the interview, they had 1000 registered users and 100 transactions. But it’s not a small team.

The company has 25 employees - including the co-founders - and they are in the UK, Brazil and India. Doji previously raised an $800,000 pre-seed round bringing its total raised to date to $3.8 million.

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