Grover is celebrating our fourth birthday this summer, and we’ve grown a lot.

We’re now in that weird phase of childhood development between being a startup and total world domination. If you thought we were kidding this whole time about revolutionizing the way people access technology, we weren’t! We’re on a mission to change ownership, period.

But how does a company with such a revolutionary and far-reaching goal even start? Let’s open up the baby book to look back at our first steps, first words, and the milestones we’ve conquered to get where we are today four years later.

2015: Where it all began

Our founder’s dream: flexible access for everything.

The story we’ve told since the beginning of Grover was that when Michael first moved to Berlin, he didn’t have any furniture. And he didn’t want to invest a bunch of time and money into buying furniture, because he didn’t want to commit to things that he might not need in the future.

It’s a common problem for people who think deeply about the things they own: even Steve Jobs didn’t buy a couch for eight years because it had to be just right. Today’s conscious consumers want to get the most value out of what they buy, and are aware of the annoyance and wastefulness of getting rid of things they no longer need.

Michael saw that tech products had the same problem, even worse than furniture, since the couch doesn’t get new features and hardware upgrades on a regular schedule like smartphones and laptops.

The solution? ShopLift.

No, we didn’t start by just taking things from stores without paying! But the principles of ShopLift remain key to Grover: a disruptive, new way to get stuff without getting saddled with old stuff – while still paying for it, but paying way less.

2016: Say hello to ByeBuy

In just the first year, ShopLift took off. Michael’s team outgrew its coworking space and moved to an office in the heart of Berlin, right near Alexanderplatz.

The product catalog grew to include over 1,500 products in 10 categories. And instead of ShopLift, we rebranded to ByeBuy. Honestly, it’s still super catchy: Say goodbye to buying! Ownership is over!

To go with this rebrand, we got our first video ads. They were weird, a little edgy, and kind of confrontational: we still love them!



2017: Grover grows

2017 brought another rebrand, as we said goodbye to ByeBuy and worked with an agency to rename ourselves. People often ask, why are we called Grover? And we won’t give away the agency’s secret formula (it’s more complicated than you think), but here’s some of the names we didn’t choose:

  • Eggsy
  • Chita
  • Dripple
  • Dooli
  • Biddle
  • Cici
  • Snaffle
  • Xoto
  • Brumbee
  • Franny
  • Igby
  • Tweeker

The Grover 1.0 website was a beautiful blur of pinks and purples. We hustled hard in 2017, partnering with MediaMarkt and other leading e-commerce shops to establish Grover as a real player in the consumer electronics world.

And the hustle paid off: we experienced 10x growth as Grover. The team grew too:

In 2017 we also launched some weird creative endeavors like MONTAG, our far-future-thinking magazine about how tech will influence our lives, and the Creators program, providing artists like filmmakers and DJs with the tech they needed to make their dreams a reality.

We provided tech for endeavors as diverse as Tech Open Air, art about the Snowden files, and even added Christmas trees to our catalog as a seasonal product.

2018: Grover 2.0

Thanks to a litigious telecommunications company that will not be named, we stopped using pink as a main brand color and worked with the design agency hy.am studios to produce a sleek new look for the website: flattening the logo, displaying a modular grid of product cards against our signature blue-red gradient, and adding more delightful micro-copy throughout our site along with inspirational imagery showing ways to get more out of life with your tech products.

 

The look, the growth, and the stars aligned so that by the summer of 2018 we got one of the largest Series A funding rounds in Europe: €37 M.

We launched our B2B offer in 2018, providing baby startups with the tech they need to grow, and you can now rent Grover tech at every Saturn and MediaMarkt location in Germany, along with many other partners online and in-store.

With over $50M asset value circulated, the only way forward is expanding in every dimension, growing the team, the website, the catalog, and our operations on a massive scale.

2019: the sky’s the limit

We’ve got even more people now than just in this photo, and we updated our site again to Grover 3.0: a super mobile-optimized, slick and cheerful modern makeover jam-packed with new features.

It’s crazy that we’re already here in just 4 short years and still growing, forming new valuable partnerships and developing delightful new ways to enhance the Grover experience. We also launched our largest and weirdest branding campaign to date, “Miet’se”: complete with a German rap song about the benefits of Grover, twerking holograms, and lots and lots of cats.

This journey has been amazing so far, and in addition to offering two weeks of birthday deals, we want to thank each and every customer from the bottom of our hearts. The rental revolution couldn’t happen without you.