Overview of Worthmore
Interview With Tegan Spinner
Describe your product or service:
“Every year the value of replaced smartphones across the EU is approximately €15 billion [$17.3 billion] today, despite many options to dispose of our used devices properly, over 70% of that value is sitting in the drawers of individuals.
We make it easy for charities and NGOs to capture this money by providing them with a frontend, dashboard, and logistics solution enabling them to convert used phones from companies and individuals into cash to support their mission.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Our planet is dying, and we are continuously exhausting resources and materials that can be reused and remanufactured. We want to make it easy for our users to make a difference. Worthmore aims towards making a lasting, positive impact — by motivating our customers to recycle what is normally considered trash, so they can help us raise significant capital towards reforestation and cleaning the oceans; thus doubling the impact in a joint effort towards ‘closing the loop’”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“We have raised money from angels and a global pre-seed VC called Antler.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“We are currently a five-person [team].”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“An entrepreneur at heart who moved from Silicon Valley to Copenhagen in pursuit of happiness, I have spent the last eight years developing and building some of the best startups in Denmark. Most specifically Zentabox, the personalized vitamins and supplements company, and Lokalist, a web platform that aims to reduce e-waste generated by the smartphone industry.
Through my role as a Nordic Talent Ambassador and Startup Denmark Visa Consultant, I actively work on attracting and helping entrepreneurs from around the world find their way around the Danish Startup Ecosystem by sharing my knowledge and experience.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“Every year across the EU, over 150 million devices are replaced across the EU; however today, less than 30% of them find their way to the secondhand market. In our research, we found that most people do not sell or trade in their devices today for various reasons. However, over 90% of people surveyed responded that they would donate the value that their used phone could be sold for, entirely or in part, to philanthropic causes so long as it was easy and transparent. Today, there is no known platform where this can easily be done.
Our mission is to partner with some of the leading NGOs and charities to provide people with a simple option to make an impact with their used phones. We have already onboarded some big names and look to rapidly expand our offering within the next few months. On top of this, we have developed an impact calculator which immediately lets users see the impact they could make with the e-waste they have lying in their drawers.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“We take old broken phones and repair, refurbish, or resell them to make them Worthmore for the planet — and for the organizations their resale value can help support.”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“So far it has been building trust in our organization and changing consumer behavior. We address this by partnering with some of the leading NGOs in our launch markets and staying true to our mission.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
Our customer is anyone with a spare phone — a segment of which our competitors have only reached 20%. These competitors consist of the likes of Blue City, Telia Recycle, DBA.
What's your marketing strategy?
“We partner closely with the charities using their brand and mission to help motivate customers to use our service.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Number of phones in, money donated to charity, impacts made without partners.”
What's your favorite book on entrepreneurship?
“‘Y Combinator’ [and] ‘Startup Documents.’”
What is your favorite startup or business podcast?
“‘Startup’ by Gimlet.”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“How many responsibilities you are expected to have knowledge of, without ever having any formal education in them. In the beginning, you have to be everything from designer to accountant, actor to marketing expert.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“I live in the Nordics where that lifestyle is respected regardless of your occupation!”
How do you stay motivated?
“As the founder, I was driven to create a company that was for purpose and profit. In Denmark, many people focus on solving the climate crisis we face as a society, and this is one way we can make a significant impact together. Our shared vision of making the world a better place for future generations and building something I can be proud of is what holds me together through the long nights and challenging times.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Don't forget to play.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“My ability to motivate people towards a common vision.”
More on Worthmore
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Tegan Spinner, founder of greentech startup Worthmore that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.