Digital boost for Europe’s metal industry: Acton Capital invests
in industrial procurement platform Laserhub
● B2B start-up from Stuttgart receives new growth capital from Munich and Berlin for Europe-wide expansion of its tech platform and investment in new manufacturing processes
● Metal parts on demand: Thanks to smart technology large corporations and SMEs save 70 percent of process costs when ordering their components
● Goal: Doubling the customer base by the end of the year
despite Corona crisis
Stuttgart/Munich, July 02 2020 – Internationalization despite Corona – Laserhub, a B2B start-up founded in Stuttgart in 2017 and now the leading procurement platform for industrial metal parts in Germany, announces the successful conclusion of a Series A financing round. Led by the international growth capital provider Acton Capital from Munich and with the participation of the previous existing investors Project A and Point Nine from Berlin, Laserhub will use the fresh capital to develop new markets in Europe.
Laserhub founders Adrian Raidt, Christoph Rößner and Jonas Schweizer will invest the funds in the expansion of their tech platform and in new manufacturing technologies such as CNC turning and tube laser cutting. The goal is to establish Laserhub as Europe’s leading digital one-stop shop in the metal sector. CNC turning alone gives Laserhub access to a €100 billion market. Founder Christoph Rößner explains: “The new processes are already
integrated in our platform. Now we are fully concentrating on increasing the vertical range of manufacturing capabilities in order to even better enable serial production for major customers. Our clear goal is to be involved in every transaction for metal parts in the European market in the future”. So far, Laserhub’s services are available to customers in Germany, Austria and France. By the end of the year, the start-up company is planning to
expand its services as well as to further expand its offering in Europe.
Corona crisis shows “increased need for change”
Laserhub co-founder Adrian Raidt is sure that now is the right time for his company’s next big milestone. “Even before COVID-19, industrial procurement processes were a mess.
Manual, inefficient processes dominate the picture here. Still, companies with needs for metal parts are confronted with an extremely confusing supplier market.” Even before the crisis it took weeks to find the right producer that matches in terms of delivery time, price and quality. The results are delays and unnecessary, often considerable costs. Raidt continues: “The Corona crisis has only intensified the need for change. Many companies have been reminded in recent weeks why replacing classic, manual processes with digital methods is indispensable. Every Euro saved through increased efficiency is paying off now.”
Co-founder and CTO Jonas Schweizer explains the advantages of Laserhub’s process: “Customers simply upload the CAD files of their components to the platform. Our algorithm finds the best producer from the network based on the order parameters such as ‘material’ and ‘production technology’. This means that in just a few seconds, all the data is available for the customer to trigger the order. Delivery date and costs at the push of a button, without
time-consuming telephone calls, countless e-mails or even faxes”. The time saved and the attractive prices of Laserhub add up to a cost saving of up to 70 percent. Raidt adds: “And the best thing is: Our producers also benefit because they receive well-prepared orders automatically without having to invest a single cent in acquisition. A great way to keep their machine park running at capacity.”
Investing in-win situation “for all parties involved”
Fritz Oidtmann, Managing Partner at Acton Capital, was fully convinced by these arguments. Reason enough for an extensive investment in the Stuttgart B2B start-up: “Crucial factor for our investment in Laserhub were the clear-cut advantages for both supplier and customer – a profitable win-win situation for all parties involved. With its sustainable business model, Laserhub will become a key driver of digital transformation in the manufacturing industry”.
Laserhub’s track record after about two and a half years of business is unambiguous: Of the 3,500 customers so far, the majority use the platform regularly – a third even places a second order within 14 days. In addition to many job shops and regional SMEs, the customer base also includes large, multinational companies. In addition to “Mittelstand” champions like
Palfinger, international giants like Siemens are also among them. Oliver Abels, Managing Director of FAC GmbH, explains the existing business relationship as follows: “Due to the high speed, procurement via Laserhub is definitely a competitive advantage for us”.
In addition to Acton Capital, Laserhubs’ existing investors Project A and Point Nine, who were already involved in the seed funding, also invested with the current Series A financing round. Uwe Horstmann, General Partner and founder of Project A Ventures, explains: “At a very early stage, we gave Laserhub the confidence to initiate a paradigm shift in the metalworking sector. We were very impressed by the growth and the major customers we
gained last year. They are on the right track.”
Robin Dechant, Associate at Point Nine Capital, comments on the development so far: “We are very pleased that Laserhub is now also addressing the tube laser and turning parts market after sheet metal. This step has the potential to establish Laserhub as a European full-line supplier of metal parts with a very high repurchase rate, which we are already seeing
from existing customers. We expect to see much more of this by the end of this year”.
Thanks to investment in the new driving force of CNC turning and the development of new countries, Laserhub plans to double its customer base to around 7,000 companies by the end of 2020, despite the current Corona crisis.
Laserhub GmbH is a B2B start-up from Stuttgart that has developed a vertically integrated, manufacturer-independent procurement platform for custom metal parts. The Laserhub platform covers orders for laser cutting, bending, tube laser cutting and CNC turning. An algorithm matches the individual requirements of customers with the resources of producers in the Laserhub network. Laserhub supplies customers in Germany, Austria and
France. Customers include traditional workshops as well as numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and established DAX30 corporations.
About Acton Capital:
Acton Capital is a leading international venture capital provider based in Munich. Since 1999, the Acton team has invested in technology-driven business models in Europe and North America in areas such as HealthCare, Future of Work, FinTech, Platforms, Digital Marketplaces or Software-as-a-Service. The team has successfully invested more than 700 million Euros in almost 100 start-ups worldwide and accompanied ventures such as Etsy
(US), HomeToGo (GER) or AlphaSights (UK) on their way to becoming global market leaders.
About Project A:
Project A is one of the leading venture capital companies in Europe with offices in Berlin, Munich and London. In addition to $500 million in assets under management, Project A provides its portfolio companies with a wide range of operational support services. This includes more than 100 employees, all experts in software development, business intelligence, sales, marketing, recruiting, etc. Project A was founded in 2012 and since then has focused on supporting start-ups, to date more than 60 in 12 countries.
About Point Nine:
Point Nine Capital is a Berlin-based venture capital firm focused on early stage investments in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and digital marketplaces. Point Nine was founded in 2011 and has since supported numerous successful start-ups such as Delivery Hero, Contentful, Typeform, Loom and Zendesk from the very beginning.
Further Information: https://laserhub.com
Image: Team Laerhub © Laserhub