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Engineering procurement platform Kreatize enters new market with Austrian investors

Kreatize, which claims to be Germany’s largest procurement platform for mechanical engineering, has received a joint investment from Austrian company B&C Innovation Investments (BCII) and the industrialist Martin Ohneberg.

Kreatize says the new investment – which is described as being in the “mid single-digit million” euro range  – will enable it to expand its business in Austria.

The procurement of industrial components is often a costly, lengthy and non-transparent process.

Kreatize offers customers as a digitalized procurement partner access to industrial machine components made of metal or plastic.

By means of a specially patented software equipped with artificial intelligence, the entire process from ordering to delivery is handled fully automatically.

This automation results in great price and delivery time advantages for customers and at the same time better capacity utilisation for suppliers.

With a volume of around €700 billion, the mechanical engineering market is one of the largest and at the same time most highly fragmented business-to-business markets in Europe, according to a study by the VDMA.

BCII and the industrialist Martin Ohneberg have jointly invested a “mid single-digit million” euro amount in Kreatize within the scope of a capital increase – with the aim of establishing their digital procurement solution in Austria and becoming the market leader in Europe.

As the majority shareholder of Lenzing, AMAG and Semperit, the B&C Group is said to be Austria’s largest independent industrial holding company. Through BCII, B&C invests in technology and growth companies that offer added value to established industry.

Thomas Zimpfer, B&C managing director, says: “The digital procurement approach of Kreatize opens up a clearly measurable added value for the industrial purchasing of machine components.

“Kreatize has already shown strong growth over the last years, and we are convinced of the further potential and relevance for the Austrian industry.

“Especially now, in the time after the shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a fast, cost-optimized production ramp-up of the industry is crucial for the location.

“Kreatize fits ideally into B&C’s IndustrialTech portfolio, with which we make relevant technologies and services from Austria and abroad accessible to the domestic industry.”

Since its foundation in 2016, B&C Innovation Investments has invested directly in seven technology and growth companies. In addition to Kreatize, investments are held in TTTech, Flightkeys, Kinexon, Citrine, Frequentis and klarx.

Martin Ohneberg, CEO of the Vorarlberg automotive supplier HENN and president of the Vorarlberg Federation of Industry, is co-investor at B&C’s side in the capital increase of Kreatize.

He has already been able to convince himself of the advantages of the on-demand procurement service.

Ohneberg says: “The time and cost factor plays a decisive role in the competitiveness of a company, in addition to the innovation activity.

“The Corona crisis will certainly bring about economic changes and force companies to further digitalise their procurement and production processes and to adapt or realign them to the new conditions.

“The economic success or even the existence of a company can depend on how quickly the changeover can take place.

“Thanks to the intelligent business model and the already large international supplier and customer base, Kreatize will be able to meet one of the future trends of ‘glocalization’ – that is the adaptation to local markets.”

Kreatize was founded by Simon Tüchelmann, CEO, and Daniel Garcia Rodriguez, CTO, in 2015 and has since established itself as one of the leading online suppliers of components in Germany.

Tüchelmann explains the business model of Kreatize, saying: “We automatically combine our customers’ orders with free capacities of our suppliers and are the only contact person in the entire handling process.

“Our goal is to help mechanical engineering companies – the backbone of the European economy – to procure components more agile, faster and more cost-efficiently.”

The additional capital tapped by B&C and Ohneberg is to be used primarily for growth.

Tüchelmann says: “In addition, we will benefit from the industrial expertise of the two investment partners, especially from access to Austrian industry.”

Kreatize currently has around 150 customers, including global leaders as well as medium-sized companies, primarily in the fields of 3D printing, electromobility, micro-mobility, robotics and automation.

The company has already been supported by several investors, including Earlybird Venture Capital.

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