Two start-up companies that had stepped up the development of online portals to match steel sellers with steel buyers have silently left the market.
Mapudo and steel.shop both emerged 4-5 years ago – the latter then still as #netzwerkstahl. Last year, things still looked bright as each attracted bigger industry partners. Mapudo partnered up with Saarland mills Dillinger Hütte & Saarstahl, and steel.shop partnered up with E/D/E, one of Germany’s large steel purchasing cooperatives.
Industry observers tell Kallanish both companies exited the market virtually at the same time. “steel.shop will be closing its business activities with effective date May 31st,” the firm’s last message reads. On its homepage Mapudo talks of “…five exciting years with numerous digital transactions,” after which it discontinued operations as of 12 June, thanking its customers and partners for a “…great time.”
#netzwerkstahl, was launched in summer 2015, preceded by a big-style roadshow through dozens of cities all over Germany. The company in the background was Switzerland’s Montanstahl, itself actually a niche vendor for stainless sections. Two years later, the idea of an Amazon-like webshop had not made progress the way the makers had planned. ‘#netzwerkstahl’ was abandoned, or rather renamed to steel.shop, now an IT service for distributors to develop their own e-shops.
The only associated companies to respond to inquiry were the Saarland mills, whose subsidiary SHS Ventures gives funds to young companies. They confirmed that Saarstahl had handled its 2A material via Mapudo since last year. “These were smaller lots compared with the total output, so the repercussions for us are very minor,” the statement says.