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India’s Cashify raises $12M for its second-hand smartphone business

Cashify, a company that buys and sells used smartphones, is the latest India startup to raise capital from Chinese investors after it announced a $12 million Series C round. Chinese funds CDH Investments and Morningside led the round, which included participation from Aihuishou, a China-based startup that sells used electronics in a similar way to Cashify and has raised more than $120 million. Existing investors, including Bessemer Ventures and Shunwei, also took part in the round. This new capital takes Cashify to $19 million raised to date. The business was started in 2013 by co-founders Mandeep Manocha (CEO), Nakul Kumar (COO) and Amit Sethi (CTO) initially as ReGlobe. The business gives consumers a fast way to sell their existing electronics; it deals mainly in smartphones but also takes laptops, consoles, TVs and tablets. “When we began we saw a lot of transaction for phone sales moving from offline to online,” Manocha told TechCrunch in an interview. “But consumer-to-consumer [for used devices] is highly opaque on price discovery and you never know if you’re making the right decision on price and whether the transaction will take place in the timeframe.” These days, the company estimates that the average upgrade cycle has shifted from 20 months to 12 months, and now it is doubling down. With Cashify, sellers simply fill out some details online about their device, then Cashify dispatches a representative who comes to their house to perform diagnostic checks and gives them cash for the device that day. The startup also offers an app which automatically carries out the checks — for example ensuring the camera, Bluetooth module, etc. all work — and offers a higher cash payment for the user since Cashify uses fewer resources. A sample of the Cashify Q&A for selling a device Beyond its website and app, Cashify gets devices from trade-in programs for Samsung, Xiaomi and Apple in India, as well as e-commerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm Mall. Used device acquired, what happens next is interesting. The startup has built out a network of offline merchants who specialize in selling used phones. Each phone it acquires is then sold (perhaps…

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