Vanilla Steel, a Berlin-based marketplace for industrial materials, has raised $4 million in seed funding led by June Fund and backed by existing investors such as Seedcamp and Mustard Seed Maze.
The steel sector is a $330bn market in EMENA that is in high need of digital transformation. The COVID crisis has further accelerated the need for digital tools in this traditional industry.
Launched in 2020, Vanilla Steel is building a secondary market for excess steel, material that is in overstock and has no direct customer attached to it. Vanilla Steel facilitates transactions, enables smart matchmaking, removes manual and tedious tasks with automation and saves time by reducing the negotiation period. Through weekly online auctions, steel suppliers can find the right buyers in a competitive bidding process. Vanilla Steel is already present in 50 countries with more than 100 steel suppliers who have listed 90,000 tons of steel during its first year of operation.
With this new funding, Vanilla Steel is going to recruit new talents to support growth, expand to new geographies and invest in new product functionalities. “Vanilla Steel is only at the beginning of its journey. 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.” says co-founder Alexis Ducros.
“We constantly think about network-driven technological change in large markets and have a lot of experience investing in it. Vanilla Steel is extraordinarily well positioned to digitize information flows in the international steel trade, and to help the industry move to a new standard. I am more than excited to support the team in realizing this vision”, said David Rosskamp, June’s founder and managing partner.