Berlin-based industrial materials marketplace Vanilla Steel has raised $4 million. The platform helps match up excess steel with buyers via weekly auctions and reportedly reduces the negotiation period. The seed round was led by June Fund and saw participation from Seedcamp and Mustard Seed Maze.
Launched just last year, Vanilla Steel is operating in a $330 billion market in EMENA, and one that has been dreadfully slow to digitise. As we’ve seen with industry after industry, the global pandemic shortened that timeline dramatically, and Vanilla Steel is stepping in to facilitate the transformation.
The founding team of Alexis Ducros, Clifford Ondara, Matthias Affeldt, and Simon Zühlke were involved with the Entrepreneur in Residence programme with thyssenkrupp Steel where the quartet met and the idea for Vanilla Steel was hatched. The startup has no capital ties to thyssenkrupp Steel.
The company is already active in 50 countries and counts over 100 suppliers who have listed more than 90,000 tonnes of steel since launch.
“The steel industry faces challenges that can be solved efficiently via an independent digital platform. We aim to bring more simplicity and smart data to the steel industry,” commented Ducros.
While they don’t specifically trade steel on their platform, I can’t imagine that Vanilla Steel and Düsseldorf-based Metalshub haven’t already crossed paths. If not, please allow me to introduce you to each other, as I’m all in favour of reducing carbon emissions via more efficient management and usage of resources.