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How recommerce platform Budli.in is bridging India's smartphone divide

8 5 31

Have you ever sold or exchanged an old phone? Or bought a refurbished one? If yes, then you are a part of the $23 billion global industry that is estimated to surpass $52.7 billion by 2022, according to IDC. The used phones market is actually growing 4-5x faster than the overall smartphone market. In India, there is a huge unmet demand for pre-owned smartphones, making it one of the fastest-growing markets for refurbished handsets in the world.

Riding this ‘reverse commerce’ or recommerce wave is Bengaluru-based Budli.in, an online marketplace where you can buy and sell electronic gadgets - smartphones, laptops, and tablets. “We deal mainly in smartphones,” Budli.in Founder and CEO Rohit Bagaria tells YourStory.

“India has a huge smartphone divide. Out of a billion-plus mobile users, only 350-million odd have smartphones. There is a massive shift that will happen from feature to smartphones in coming years. And we believe the refurbished market will also take a substantial share of this growth,” he explains.

Rohit Bagaria, Founder and CEO, Budli.in

The four-year story

Budli.in (meaning ‘change’ in Hindi) started in 2015 with a mission to provide technology access to 100 million people through recommerce. It tried to bridge the divide between India’s smartphone haves and have-nots.

Since its launch, the company has grown to 350,000 registered users, partnered with a 1,000 offline retailers and ecommerce platforms, and reached 25,000 pincodes. It has also worked with some of India’s most prominent unicorns, including Flipkart, Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, and BigBasket.

Without divulging specifics, Rohit says the platform has been “doubling revenue and transactions in the last two years”. Most of its growth is coming from smartphones, which account for 80-85 percent of Budli.in’s transactions. He reveals,

“The average ticket size for refurbished phones has gone up to Rs 5,000-6,000 on the buying side and Rs 4,000........

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