Expanding services

  • • Increased services such as more languages and a transport cost calculator for DE etc.
  • • More than 120 employees in Dusseldorf
  • • Platform expanded for SL, BG and KO
  • • 18 languages available on the platform
  • • More than 500,000 visitors from over 150 countries every month
  • • Founding of the Swiss site

Sustainable growth

Surplex continued to grow in 2016 and has established a site in Switzerland with Country manager Alfred Allemand. The platform itself is also continuously expanded and optimised, and is now supported by eight in-house developers. The 18 availableplatform languages – now including Slovenian, Bulgarian and Korean – enables us to achieve a rate of more than 500,000 visitors a month coming from over 150 countries. Surplex now has more than 120 employees domestically and internationally and is continuously growing both at home and abroad.

New sites

  • • Opening of offices in France, Belgium and Spain
  • • Expansion in services (sales, self-auction processfor DE etc.)
  • • Platform available in 15 languages

Surplex is growing on an international scale

2015 is all about internationalisation. Surplex is founding new locations in three countries. Country Manager Micael Roberto has come on board for France, Bart Devrouw for Belgium, and three Country Managers for Spain - Eduard Krause, Jose Emilio Sobrado Gómez and Miguel Garcia. The internationalisation process will lead to continuous expansions to the number of languages offered on the platform, which currently features 15 languages. The self-auction process has been activated for sellers from the German-speaking world, which makes it far simpler for prospective vendors to enter their details.

Man. Dir. Michael Werker & Uli Stalter (2014)


  • • Expansion of services (transportation, payments etc.)
  • • Founding of an office in Prague
  • • More than 50 staff members in Düsseldorf

Machine trade in ten languages

In 2014, Country Manager Jiří Suchánek opens an office in Prague. The online market place is constantly expanded and improved. By now, the web platform is available in ten languages. In addition to German and English, the languages available are Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Romanian and Hungarian. New services such as transportation and online payments allow for even better service.

Guido Franchini, Country Man. Italy (2013)


  • • Founding of the Surplex SRL (Italy)
  • • averages 130,000 visitors a month from more than 150 countries
  • • Website is now available in ten (instead of two) languages

To Italy and further

The combination of technical innovation and extensive service increasingly attracts foreign customers. At the end of 2013, registered more than 130,000 visitors from more than 150 countries. The foundation of the Surplex S.r.l. (Italy) with Country Manager Guido Franchini underscores the international focus. Between 2012 and 2013, sales increases by approx. 70%. In the meantime, more than 50 staff members work for Surplex.

Overseas shipment (2012)

Strong growth

  • • Tripling of sales and number of employees
  • • Continuous improvement of the online market place
  • • Leading online auction house for metal processing and wood machining

On the road to success

Between 2011 and 2013, business is taking off. The turnover strongly increases, more than 45 people now work for Surplex. The company offers its customers all the services of a traditional trade in used machines: Consultations, evaluations, expert opinions, dismantling, customs and payment modalities and much more. Surplex rises to become the leading German online auction house in the metal and wood processing sector.

Surplex GmbH - new location (2009)

Founding of the Surplex GmbH

  • • Management: Michael Werker and Ulrich Stalter
  • • Further consolidation despite international financial crisis
  • • Integration of a powerful auction interface

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

In the beginning of 2009 and in the middle of the financial crisis, Michael Werker and Uli Stalter again venture into entrepreneurial independence. When the Surplex GmbH is founded, 16 staff members are on board. Despite difficult general economic political conditions, the company can be further stabilised. A new web platform with an integrated auction interface is successful: The auction business grows rapidly.

Man. Dir. Michael Werker (2008)


  • • Business area of a sales company (Director: Michael Werker)
  • • Consolidation of sales and number of employees
  • • Development to a full service provider

Full service paves the way out of the crisis

The consolidation begins with the director Michael Werker. However, the company loses its entrepreneurial independence. Since 2004, the business continued under the umbrella of a sales company. Uli Stalter successfully expands the trade with used wood processing machines. The company becomes a full service provider with an increase in the auction business - the recipe for success for the following years.

Dawn of crisis (2002)

Dotcom crisis

  • • Drop in turnover
  • • Closure of all offices except Düsseldorf
  • • Reduction of staff

The bubble bursts

When the dotcom bubble burst, Surplex also plunged into turbulences. A drop in growth finally led to the closure of all offices except Düsseldorf. The business model suffers in particular from the lack of confidence of market participants in the online trade: At the turn of the millennium no one wants to buy high-quality machines on the Internet. The " AG" is renamed into "Surplex AG". The number of employees in Düsseldorf drops to approx. 30.

"Big deals are no big deal" advertising campaign (2001) AG

  • • Financing through international venture capital consortia
  • • Prominent private investors, e.g. Lars Schlecker, Marc Schrempp etc.
  • • 12 offices, amongst others Düsseldorf, Berlin, London, Paris, Moscow and Bahrain

Stock market fever

The market fever of the new economy also drives the newly founded AG to turbulent growth. International venture capital consortia such as the Carlyle Group invest amounts in the tens of millions. Prominent private investors such as Lars Schlecker or Fiat President Paolo Fresco also invest in Surplex. Surplex grows to more than 130 staff members in 12 locations - among them Berlin, London, Paris, Moscow and Bahrain.

The very first office (1999)

Startup in Düsseldorf

  • • Founded by Bruno and Florian Schick, Rory Devlin and Sean Glodek
  • • The idea is the programming of an online market place for used machinery
  • • Purchase & sale of machines is to be faster, easier and more transparent

A bold idea

In 1999, Bruno and Florian Schick, Rory Devlin and Sean Glodek founded Surplex in Düsseldorf. It is a typical start-up company of the dotcom era. The bold idea: By using an online market place, the buying and selling of used machines was to be made faster, more transparent and easier. Read the Surplex timeline to find out why this vision was ahead of its time but in the end became a reality!

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