Les Talent Stories – Back Market

French Tech has a fast growing number of scale-ups with offices and hiring needs around Europe and beyond.

Back Market (who recently announced their series D) is a great example of a French scale-up that’s busy expanding globally. To support them, we’re thrilled to share their Talent story in English, which is also the working language of their team of 460+ Back Makers.

This is the third article of our Les Talent Stories series, following ManoMano and Singulart. The series shares the stories of French start ups that are changing the world, particularly by making a positive social or environmental impact.

Brought to you by the France Digitale Talent Program.

Back Market is the number one European (and soon global) marketplace specializing in the sale of fully refurbished tech devices. With offices in Paris, Bordeaux, Prague, Berlin, New York and soon in Spain and Japan, Back Market is addressing talent on a truly global level.

We also recently featured them in our Tech4Values guide of best practices, where they shared not only about their mission of fighting against planned obsolescence but also their best practice for creating a more diverse and inclusive work environment. Here’s what they shared with us about their plans for this year.

A few words about Back Market?

Founded in 2014, Back Market was the first online marketplace dedicated to refurbished electronics and appliances. We have raised over 434M€ to continue doing what we do best: bringing high-quality professionally-refurbished electronics to people that need a reliable, more affordable, and more sustainable alternative to brand new electronics. We are trying to lower the impact of the tech devices we use daily by extending their lives and introducing more circularity into the consumer electronics industry. 


How was 2020 and what are your plans for 2021?

2020 was a challenging year for the whole world, and for a growing company like ours, where company culture has such a central role, it was a little scary going into fully remote work. but we managed. We tried things—some of it worked and some of it didn’t. But at the end of the day, we came out of it stronger…and it wasn’t just the business (which, by the way, did really well): the pandemic was a stress-test that proved just how robust Back Market’s work culture really is. From establishing remote onboarding to keeping employees equipped, active and entertained (goodies were delivered and movies were screened) life went on.

We have huge ambitions for 2021! As we continue to expand our services and into other countries we intend to improve quality and to come close to accomplishing our mission. Of course, to do that, we will also be recruiting more people to join us…around 250 more this year.

What makes you special and/or differentiates you from others?

First of all, we are a mission-driven company. We are fighting planned obsolescence and doing our part in combating the worldwide electronic waste crisis by introducing more circularity in technology. 

Second, is our team. Our team has members from more than 40 different countries coming from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. And yet, in spite of these differences, the team is united. We are deeply bound together by Back Market’s mission…and a culture of fun. We work hard and enjoy working with our colleagues, but we also enjoy other moments with them (workshops, happy hours, conferences, etc.)

How do you translate your values into behaviors ? 

Sabotage is our cardinal value.

Sabotage is deeply embedded in our DNA and we look to 5 guiding principles to help us bring it to life concretely: 

1- Think Deep. Decide Fast.

This is self-explanatory. At Back Market we plan extensively but also work with flexibility and a readiness to improvize where needed. 

2- This is Sparta.

Every person has a role they have to play, a specific shield and weapon to raise to the benefit of the whole team. We face challenges collectively as a team but with accountability. 

3-Minimum resources. Maximum impact.

This is also straightforward. We aren’t extravagant, we are efficient with the resources we have and use them to get the biggest possible bang for every buck.

4- One loving & free-spirited tribe.

Wherever there is a group, there is a potential for drama. Wherever there is a corporation, there is a potential for interactions to become stiff and confining. It is a priority at Back Market to keep things friendly—to make sure that everyone feels that they are accepted as they are (and to remind them to accept others as they are) and to have a caring and dynamic team of people, not corporate zombies, at our workplace.

5- It’s not green enough.

We can’t hope to make an impact on consumers’ behaviors if we can’t change our own. This is an open call for our workplace to be more sustainable: to become better every day. Every time. In every act. 

Long term goals? Where do you see Back Market in 10 years? 

We are now the leading global marketplace for refurbished electronics and appliances. 

Our goal is to make refurbished the first choice for electronics purchases, and we intend to do that by continuing to improve the quality of the products that we sell on our platform. In 10 years, Back Market will still have the same values and the same principles: just more markets, more partners, and more happy customers.


Find all the positions Back Market have open in Europe, the US and Asia

Do you want to join a French Tech startup or scale-up in France or elsewhere?

More information on the Talent Program and France Digitale.