Electronic or e-waste has become the world’s fastest growing waste stream, fueled by higher consumption rates, technological advancements and short life cycles. As the global spotlight focuses more on sustainable practices, the importance of repair and reuse activities is beginning to gain an increasing amount of attention.
A Better Futures CoLab report estimates that, in Kenya, this would be worth around 1.5% of its economy (£1.12 billion/$1.43 billion). As the electronics sector grows across Africa demand for repairs is expected to increase, representing a massive economic opportunity. While thousands of livelihoods in the formal and informal sectors rely on repair and reuse activities, the sector faces a number of challenges. Revivo works directly with the small repair shops that do the vast majority of repairs to help them thrive and provide quality repairs to their customers.
The environmental impact of most electronics is highest when they are manufactured and distributed – before they are even used. With only a small percentage of e-waste recycled, the circular economy can play a pivotal role in reducing the environmental and health impact of e-waste.
Founded in 2022 by Stanford MBA graduate, Sarah Johnson, Revivo's mission is to increase access to quality and affordable electronics repairs. Through their platform the company makes it easy for repair shops to find the products and resources they need. Revivo offers transparent pricing, access to new product sources, guaranteed quality, learning materials, and embedded financing for their customers.
Based in Kenya, the team has sold over 45,000 products to thousands of customers and is establishing partnerships with key original equipment manufacturers and e-waste recyclers. Their efforts have led to several grants, including one from Stanford’s TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy.
“Products like a smartphone or a solar home system can change lives. However the reality is that these products remain unaffordable for many people and have damaging environmental impacts. By building a strong repair economy we can make the use of these devices more affordable while reducing their negative impact. I believe this is a huge opportunity, and the marketplace is just the beginning.” Johnson said.
Repair and reuse strategies are essential to extend the lifespan of products and retain the value added by design and manufacturing raw materials into products. Every time we extend a gadget’s lifetime, we space out and slow the impacts of manufacture. The fewer new items we buy, the more we limit greenhouse gas emissions and save essential resources.
“We are delighted to join the Revivo journey to support Sarah and her team in pioneering the Repair economy in Africa while empowering small shop owners. From the beginning of our interaction with her, we knew that she was the kind of founders who were able to make a real difference in the green growth of the continent, as enabling electronics repairs is critical to extending devices lifespan, hence reducing carbon emissions and electronic waste, so as to foster green growth cross the continent. We are looking forward to working alongside our fabulous co-investors to contribute to making Revivo a category-defining and mission-driven company.” said Anil Maguru, Partner at Climate Tech VC fund Satgana.
By tapping into the secondary market, Revivo seeks to become a leading electronic repair platform in Kenya, with expansion plans in Africa in the coming years. This opportunity not only increases the velocity of a business’s value recovery on said goods but helps reduce waste by ensuring surplus products and materials fall into the hands of consumers. A circular economy is a win-win for business, consumers, and the earth.
Revivo is an online marketplace for quality electronic spare parts, accessories, and repair tools in Kenya. Founded in 2022 by Sarah Johnson, Revivo’s mission is to increase access to quality and affordable electronics repairs in emerging markets by addressing the needs of small businesses doing the vast majority of repairs.