Government funding worth millions of euros enables Online Manufacturer to create new positions in the areas of sales/purchasing, logistics and IT
Online Manufacturing company FACTUREE continues to grow thanks to government investment grant for 115 new permanent jobs
Berlin, September 6, 2023 - The Online Manufacturing company FACTUREE (www.facturee.de) is set to receive millions of euros in funding from the state-owned Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB). The so-called "Joint Task 'Improvement of the Regional Economic Structure' (GRW)" is aimed at companies in the commercial sector. With the investment or wage cost subsidy, IBB supports investment projects to create and secure permanent jobs on behalf of the Berlin Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Operations. Therefore, FACTUREE now has up to 3 million euros in wage cost subsidies at its disposal and has planned to create 115 new permanent jobs.
The state GRW investment grant supports start-ups and existing businesses in the industrial, construction, trade and service sectors. One of the prerequisites is that sales must be predominantly superregional. FACTUREE is growing steadily and, with its online production, has established an entirely new and promising form of parts procurement that is becoming increasingly important internationally too. FACTUREE sees itself as a reliable partner for German industry and has an increasing number of customers in other European countries.
An investment project of over 15 million euros
FACTUREE's current investment project amounts to more than 15 million euros. The Online Manufacturer's goal is to create 115 long-term jobs by March 2026. The new permanent jobs are to be created in the operational teams of Sales and Purchasing. Capacities in the areas of logistics and IT will also be expanded significantly too. The GRW funding supports this project as it contributes to the improvement of the regional economic structure. The funding rate can be a maximum of 30 percent and relates to an investment period of up to 36 months.
Benjamin Schwab, Co-Founder and CMO at FACTUREE, explains: "We are experiencing a steadily growing number of inquiries, which we can only handle in the long term by expanding our number of employees. The government investment grant gives us the opportunity to do just that. FACTUREE has now been awarded a subsidy of 20 percent. This means that up to 3 million euros will be made available to us by the government, all of which will go towards the cost of wages."
The current investment grant is a form of follow-up financing. In the past, FACTUREE has already been granted government funding of around 1 million euros.
"With the two investment grants, we can access a total funding amount of 4 million euros. The prerequisite is that we fill all 115 positions that we have planned. The signs are very good, because our growth curve is pointing steeply upwards," says Benjamin Schwab.
Bootstrapping since day one
FACTUREE has relied on public funding programs instead of venture capital for its rapid growth. Since its founding, the company has been fully self-financed and thus – unlike most of companies in the industry - operates entirely without investor funding.
"Since the very beginning of our company's history, we have enjoyed the trust of the state and are thus in a position to take advantage of public funding programs such as the “Teilhabechancengesetz” (or the Participation Opportunities Act). Among other things, the government funding enables us to successfully prefinance jobs and create numerous local jobs. This orientation gives us complete control over our company and thus clearly separates us from venture capital-financed competitors," says Benjamin Schwab.
Digital procurement platforms are gaining importance as a state-of-the-art solution for purchasing. Supply chain disruptions are frequent, not only in times of crisis. Further, there is increasing price sensitivity among buyers faced with inflation and rising costs. Benjamin Schwab, CMO of FACTUREE, will also be taking part in the online session from 10:35 – 10:55 and will explain why in some areas Online Manufacturing is far superior to conventional contract manufacturing as the procurement model of the future. He will also address the price advantages of FACTUREE compared to instant pricing suppliers. Take this opportunity to learn more about smart procurement solutions on 7 September 2023 and sign up now.
Berlin Partner, a public-private partnership for promoting business and technology in Berlin, has been a strong supporter for FACTUREE. In the following interview by Berlin Partner, Moritz König, CEO of FACTUREE, provides an insight into this cooperation and presents the Online Manufacturer.
For those who don't know your company – what is it about?
Our full name is FACTUREE – The Online Manufacturer. In 2017, we asked ourselves how the procurement of custom parts could be made easier, faster and more sustainable. Our response was Online Manufacturing. Our concept is based on digitalization, automation and networking. To implement this, we have a production network of around 2000 partners from nearly all fields – including CNC machining, sheet metal processing, 3D printing, casting processes, surface technology and module assembly. Around 15,000 machines are constantly available for projects, giving us the broadest manufacturing range in the market and nearly unlimited capacities. With FACTUREE, small and large series production as well as prototyping projects can be carried out.
For each project, we use AI to select the most suitable manufacturer in terms of quality, price and delivery time. The request process is semi-automated. With our new request tool, for example, ninety-nine items can be requested in less than one minute – simply and hassle-free. Once FACTUREE has received the request, the quote is prepared in just a short time.
Our customers get everything from a single source. We are their only interface and sole contract partner. They no longer have to search for, qualify and onboard suppliers. This reduces the workload as much as possible for the purchasing managers, freeing up time they can use for other tasks. And they can also rest assured that we can always deliver due to our broad network. Furthermore, as the price leader, we also offer the best conditions – a key advantage in times when purchasers‘ price sensitivity is increasing.
How did Berlin Partner support your journey?
Berlin Partner supported us in many ways. Particularly noteworthy was the valuable advice on applying for grants, which now amount to more than four million euros. This allowed us to accelerate our projects and develop new business potential.
We also benefit from Berlin Partner when recruiting international experts. For instance, through the Business Immigration Service and assistance in establishing valuable contacts at events such as Viva Tech and London Tech, where we – arranged by Berlin Partner – were part of the German delegation.
We are very grateful for the support from Berlin Partner and appreciate their strong commitment that helps us achieve our financial and personnel growth targets and enhances our innovative power.
What is your vision for your company?
Our goal is to become THE Online Manufacturer globally – as the partner of choice for custom parts of all kinds. We want every purchaser requiring custom parts and looking for fast procurement to think of FACTUREE first. This is undoubtedly an ambitious goal, but we are convinced that it is feasible. Up to now, we have built up FACTUREE by our own bootstraps. We started successfully around 6 years ago with no investors, today we have two-digit million sales with current growth rates around 100 percent per year.
The bootstrapping strategy definitely posed some unique challenges, but it also forced us to work efficiently and stay focused. Relying on our own resources and striving for financial independence makes us more agile and we can respond to changes more quickly. This approach allowed us to develop our own identity and company culture and enabled us to increase our growth rate and profits at a sustainable pace. At the same time, we learned valuable lessons about efficiency and setting priorities that will benefit us in the long term.
We want to continue to grow and expand organically, of course. This involves building up our team to provide the know-how and capacities needed to manage increasing demand and expand our customer base.
What makes Berlin so special for you as a founder?
Berlin has a rich pool of talent right here, which is a huge advantage of this location for us. It allows us to put together an extremely competent team that makes a significant contribution to our company’s success. Although the start-up and investor landscape undeniably plays an important role in business, we have to stress that we take a different approach as a self-financed company. We focus on developing our resources internally and building on our own strength. This doesn’t mean that we ignore the importance of investors, but we concentrate on our business skills and organic growth.
How did you find new colleagues for your team?
We are proud to be considered an extremely attractive employer, even in the midst of a shortage of skilled specialists. Overall, we are convinced that our investments in the wellbeing of our employees are a key reason we have no real problems finding qualified employees, despite the limited pool of talents. As employer, we understand the needs of our employees and create an environment where they can develop their talent and feel good in the long run.
One major factor is that we consistently focus on our employees’ satisfaction. Fair pay is very important for us and we also offer a number of benefits that greatly exceed those usually offered. For example, we have a cook who makes a delicious lunch every day – completely at the company’s expense.
Work should not be just a task, but also give you joy and fulfillment. Our happiness management ensures that we create a motivating and positive work environment that promotes personal and professional development.
Why is your company also interesting for other Berlin-based companies?
Our company FACTUREE is extremely interesting for manufacturing companies in Berlin, particularly for hardware startups. Especially for young companies that need to use their resources efficiently, our solution is ideal for reducing their workload and allowing them to fully concentrate on their core business.
As Online Manufacturer, we understand the challenges faced by hardware startups and our services are geared to reduce their administrative efforts. From material procurement and production to logistics – we cover the entire manufacturing process, helping the startups to invest their valuable time and energy in advancing their innovative ideas and fleshing out their business models.
Our expertise and experience allow us to be efficient and cost effective, which is especially invaluable for young companies with a limited budget.
As a Berlin-based company, we also understand the local business culture and the dynamics of the startup scene, giving us a real competitive edge. Furthermore, the geographic proximity enables us to develop smooth cooperation with our customers and provide personal support.