This summer, we’re celebrating Grover’s 5th birthday. While we commemorate July as the first official month of Grover being live and available to rental-savvy early adopters, it was five years ago today – June 24th 2015 – that Grover’s launch was covered by TechCrunch, in a fateful article that put us firmly on the European startup map.

And a lot can happen in five years! Since then, we’ve grown and evolved tremendously in all sorts of ways: our team has grown, our ambitions have rocketed, and – most importantly – we have brought the rental revolution to more than 500,000 registered users, enabling them to access the latest tech on a flexible, convenient and affordable monthly subscription basis.

Birthdays are a time of celebration and a chance to take a walk down memory lane – so here’s five highlights from the past five years of Grover. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

 

1. €300M in funding raised

Our most recent debt funding round in January 2020 brought our total funding amount to almost €300M, propelling us from “start-up” firmly into “scale-up” territory – and making us one of Germany’s best-funded scale-ups, too. This funding allowed us to grow our business 3X in 2019, scale our team to more than 120 talented people (more on them later!), expand our product range to over 2,000 top tech products in 10 categories (including the much-coveted e-scooters), and improve our service offering to give our customers a perfectly weightless rental experience.

 

2. Partnerships with 11 European retailers

Since our innovative partnership with MediaMarkt began in 2017, we’ve partnered with 11 of Europe’s leading electronics retailers. That means we’ve established ourselves as a key player in the Consumer Electronics market. And we’re proud to say that our circular rental model has provided a platform for the €1.2 trillion global Consumer Electronics industry to start reducing the 50 million tons of toxic e-waste generated annually.

This all means that Grover’s option to rent is easily accessible, wherever you shop. Right now, we’re present on more than 3,500 PDPs (“product detail pages,” for those of us not fluent in e-commerce speak!) of online European electronics retailers, and in more than 500 brick-and-mortar stores across Germany (see them all in the map above). 

 

3. Two successful brand campaigns

In the past five years, we launched two large-scale brand campaigns – both of them based on weird (but fun!), and incredibly catchy music videos. We apologize if one of these songs was stuck in your head for a week or so 😉

The first was “Miet’se,” launched in 2019, when we were firmly in our “cat phase” as a company (you’ll need to watch it to understand). The video has amassed over 1 million views to date!

The second was “Zero Gravity.” Launched in 2020, it translates the freedom of renting tech with Grover into the literal experience of weightlessness in zero gravity. See for yourself: enter the Grover house party and say goodbye to gravity in 3…2…1… lift off!

 

4. First international market launch


In September 2019 we completed our first fully-fledged international market launch in Austria with Grover.com/at, bringing flexible tech rentals to people beyond our home market. It was the first step to taking Grover global. Angry tweeters, hold fire – we’re already working on our next European market launch, which is slotted for later this year – stay tuned!

 

5. A larger and more diverse team than ever before!

We’ve saved the best until last: the most important part of Grover is the brilliant, tenacious team that makes this company work! Diversity is our strength: we have talented people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. 

At the time of writing, Grover’s team is our largest and most diverse yet – consisting of over 120 people from more than 30 countries. Our office and Slack channels thrum to many different languages (next to English, we hear Spanish, Russian, French and German spoken most often throughout the office). One fun benefit is that our team members share their cultures (OK, we mean food!) with us in dozens of team breakfasts, after-work get-togethers, or one-on-one conversations. 

We’re also proud that we have more than 50 smart and ambitious women working at the company, and we want more! This year, we introduced our first female member to the company’s leadership team: Priyanka Soni became Head of Operational Scalability and Special Projects. And our first female VP joined the company’s leadership team in April, when Lauren Hoehelin Joseph became Grover’s first-ever VP People.

Finally, it’s wild to think back to the very start: when Grover was only a handful of people that our Founder & CEO Michael Cassau hustled together to join a new, slightly crazy-sounding venture that aimed to do away with buying and ownership, which back then he was calling – wait for it – ShopLift (more on that here). A couple of name-changes later (bye-bye, “BuyBuy”) and, as Grover took off, our team grew rapidly: 39 people by the end of 2017, 65 by the end of 2018, just about 100 by the end of 2019, and more than 120 now!

These past five years have been amazing, and we’ll continue to work our hardest to make the next five even better. In addition to offering a full month of birthday deals in July, we want to thank all of our customers for the continued support in our path toward the rental revolution – We couldn’t have done it without you!