Ethical smartphone brand Fairphone secured €49 million in fresh funding, with the company set to use the cash for a range of brand awareness, product development and sustainability-linked projects.

The cash is from a consortium of investors including Invest-NL, ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund and Quadia, all of which specialise in funding companies with an environmental or social steer.

In a statement, Fairphone noted part of the capital will be used to strengthen its brand, invest in product development, improve customer service and accelerate various sustainability-focused projects.

Within the latter it aims to promote fairness in the electronics sector and accelerate integration of recycled materials in its own product portfolio. This includes extending mining value chain programmes in Africa and South America, and continuing fair wage initiatives in Asia.

A proportion of the investment money will be used by the smartphone player to pay off existing debt and fund a partial exit of some shareholders including more than 1,000 who backed its crowdfunding campaign.

Fairphone CEO Eva Gouwens said the company had already “been able to transform from a social movement to an impactful mission-driven company”.

“With a growing base of mission-aligned investors, we will further raise awareness for fairer electronics and accelerate the growth of our company and impact.”