surplex increases its stake in the start-up TradeMachines: Sustained further development of surplex’s growth strategy

Düsseldorf, April 19th 2018

surplex, the industrial auction house for used machinery, is expanding its financial participation in the machine search engine TradeMachines resulting in a new orientation of its platform strategy.

On growth course

By expanding the financial participation in TradeMachines, the industrial auction house surplex complements its used machinery business; however, surplex and TradeMachines will continue to operate independently of each other. "The respective offers complement each other perfectly. While our auction platform specializes in the sale of used machines for the woodworking and metalworking industry, TradeMachines is the world's leading meta-search engine for buyers of used machinery in almost all the most important industries. This allows for us to offer customers a significantly broader spectrum and to combine our respective expertise without diluting the brands surplex and TradeMachines," explains surplex’s Managing Director, Michael Werker, who runs the business together with Ulrich Stalter.

TradeMachines: Excellent visibility all over Europe

TradeMachines is the leader in Google visibility in all European countries except for Germany (Sistrix Index). In terms of visibility, the metasearch engine is also leading outside of Europe and according to Google Analytics (March 2018.) it currently generates 35,520,091 machine views from over 120 countries per month.

Surplex and TradeMachines for sellers and dealers

Together, surplex and TradeMachines are able to offer a wide range of services for sellers and dealers of used machines: TradeMachines allows sellers and dealers to control the entire transaction which implies that they are able to control the generation of inquiries. Surplex, on the other hand, offers two options for sellers, being the sale of their used machines to surplex or the marketing of the machinery. In the case of marketing, the online auction house offers an optional price guarantee for the goods.

Together, TradeMachines and surplex cover two essentials in the worldwide rapidly growing digital market”, says Heico Koch, Managing Director of TradeMachines: "With its 60 local platforms around the globe, TradeMachines sees itself as a partner of dealers on the one hand. Moreover, we offer the dealers assistance with consulting services and training. On the other hand, also potential buyers benefit from the transparency across all borders provided by the wide range of machines we offer".

surplex for buyers

surplex provides specialist knowledge in the woodworking and metalworking industry which was acquired over almost two decades and likewise focuses on customer service, particularly on order management. "We take care of the everything including free loading on truck, freight and customs documents, so that the customer only needs to organize the transport of the goods. This offer cannot be taken for granted, especially in the used machinery market", explains Ulrich Stalter.

Previous investment in TradeMachines: surplex and StalWerk

TradeMachines received 20,000 euros from surplex in the course of the crowd-funding round of Companisto at the end of 2015. Via the investment company StalWerk Beteiligung GmbH, Michael Werker and Ulrich Stalter have held indirect stakes in TradeMachines independently of surplex ever since its formation by Heico Koch in 2013. Even back then, both of them saw the great potential of the metasearch engine to provide professional buyers worldwide with a market overview and thus also the potential to create more transparency. In addition, the point of increased visibility contributed to the investment decision. "As in other industries, it has also been obvious in the industry of machine trade that offering a complete and wide range of machines results in a higher level of visibility. This allows sustained survival for companies in a platform world," explains Werker.

StalWerk Beteiligung GmbH currently holds 55 percent of TradeMachines. The remaining shares are held by Managing Director Heico Koch, other minority shareholders and all shareholders TradeMachines won in the course of the 2015 crowd-funding round. TradeMachines will present a buy out offer to the crowd-funding shareholders financed by StalWerk.

About Surplex

Surplex ( is a European market leader for online industrial auctions of wood- and metalworking second-hand machines. The business model of the middle-sized company is digital since its foundation almost 20 years ago. Founded as a start-up company in the dotcom era in 1999, the managers Ulrich Stalter and Michael Werker set a new strategic orientation for Surplex in 2009.

They focused the auction business on their special fields wood- and metalworking second-hand machines and expanded the customer service. In concrete terms, customer service means: Surplex provides the goods mostly free loaded on truck. Thus, the company takes charge of the dismantling and the processing, including all freight and customs documents for the client. The customer only needs to organize the transport of the goods, which is not an offer that cannot be taken for granted in other industrial auction houses.

Sellers benefit from the market knowledge of Surplex when evaluating their machinery. The online auction house either purchases the assets completely or sells them on behalf of the seller via Surplex can give a proceeds guarantee for the sale. If entire factory halls go under the hammer, they are handed over in a swept clean condition.

Surplex is expanding. Within 10 years, the manager duo Werker and Stalter increased the number of employees and the turnover tenfold. Meanwhile 180 employees from 18 nations work at the location in Düsseldorf and in the nine European branch offices in Italy, Spain, France, Benelux, UK, Poland, Romania, Denmark and Switzerland. The medium-sized company achieved a turnover of 84 million euros in the fiscal year 2017, compared to 64 million euros in the fiscal year 2016.

The website is available in 18 languages and registers on average 500,000 visitors per month. In 2017 about 60,000 articles were sold via

About TradeMachines

TradeMachines ( is one of the world's largest used-machinery search engines. TradeMachines provides buyers access to used machinery offered by national and international dealers and auction houses. The company does not offer machines itself, but it provides interested buyers an overview of the current selection of used machinery. The offers range from tractors, forklifts to production machinery in the wood and metalworking sector as well as industrial cranes. Smaller machines and tools such as wood and metal saws or lawn mowers are also listed. Users can see what prices certain machines are sold at and where it is worth buying one.

The Berlin-based startup was founded in 2013 among others by Heico Koch and since then, over 20 billion euros worth of machines have been listed on the platform. Thus, the startup is by now a leading player in a market with an annual trading volume of appr. 380 billion euros which grows annually by about 20%. Currently, TradeMachines covers around 15% of the global market’s offer which is made possible by contracts with the leading providers and through consistent internationalization. Currently, there are 60 local platforms worldwide.

Press Contact:

Carmen Hillebrand
Phone: +49-211-422737-893

Mobil: +49-173-247-3349

Heico Koch
Phone: +49-30-39875355
Mobil: +49-177-63-24-380