Industry 4.0 meets Finance
The Austrian FinTech startup linx4, founded in late 2018, offers a platform for pay-per-use financing of equipment in cooperation with financial institutions and machine manufacturers (OEMs).
Now linx4 is expanding its offering with the establishment of an investment fund (linx4 – Equipment Finance Fund 1) for institutional investors who wish to participate in this attractive asset class and other IoT data-based financial products. For the further development of the platform and the launch of the fund, the start-up has now secured a seven-digit funding round as well as strong expertise from the financial sector.
The linx4 platform, headquartered in Vienna, was founded in late 2018 by father-son team Paul and Michael Bruckberger. linx4 gives machine users the ability to finance manufacturing equipment on a pay-per-use basis. The FinTech connects Industry 4.0 data with the financing world through the use of its innovative contract middleware.
Variable instead of fixed costs for machine users, new sales opportunities for machine manufacturers (OEMs) and access to attractive investment opportunities for institutional investors
The trend towards digital and flexible financing in a modern production environment has been accelerated further by the Corona crisis. The FinTech linx4 contributes significant value to this ecosystem by combining Industry 4.0 data with modern financing methods.
The linx4 platform allows machine users to finance machines on a usage basis. This optimizes cash-flows and shifts fixed costs (CAPEX) to usage-based variable costs (OPEX). In addition, the financing allows a balance sheet-neutral purchase of equipment.
Machine manufacturers (also known as Original Equipment Manufacturers – OEMs) benefit from additional equipment sales and new business models by offering their customers pay-per-use financing models in cooperation with linx4.
Financial investors are able to deliver the right financing solutions to the Industry 4.0 via linx4 and gain access to an attractive asset class. They benefit from the innovative, data-based financing algorithms implemented through linx4's contract middleware. The broad database allows risks to be better priced and managed over time.
Besides established financial institutions such as banks and leasing companies, insurers, private equity investors and family offices have shown interest in participating in this new type of financing. linx4 is now able to serve this interest through the launch of its investment fund, which enables third party investors to enter the equipment financing market.
The fact that data-driven financing products and tools will play an important role in the future of corporate treasury is something that not only linx4's founders are convinced of, but also renowned financial service providers with whom linx4 cooperates. The FinTech operates in a market which, from the perspective of financial institutions and institutional investors, represents a significant and important growth market. With this seven-digit investment, the company intends to further extend its market lead and expand internationally.
Paul Bruckberger, CEO & Co-Founder of linx4, is proud of the team and adds that this significant financing round confirms their path and reflects the confidence of their clients and partners. The founders are convinced that "this seven-digit funding brings us a step closer to our vision of changing equipment financing with data-driven financing products and algorithms". The funding is also intended to be used to expand the team.
Several business angels as investors
In the current financing round four Business Angels from the international financial, insurance and investment industry are involved: Rolf Steffens, Peter Oser, Markus Buncsak and a well-known US-FinTech investor. In addition to sufficient capital, linx4 was thus able to bring a wealth of international experience and expertise to the company. The company was also able to secure additional financing through the aws Seedfinancing grant.
The investors around Rolf Steffens see linx4 not only as a technology leader, but also as "the first FinTech start-up that has managed to combine Industrial IoT data with financial products in order to offer pay-per-use financing in a scalable form".
Quotes on the investment
Paul Bruckberger - CEO & Co-Founder: "100 years of rigid financing are enough! It's outstanding what we have achieved so far! Through the investment and participation of four fantastic business angels with years of financial, investment and insurance expertise, as well as the industry 4.0 know-how we brought in, we have a very diverse set of skills in the team, covering all areas to make a lasting impact in equipment financing. By linking industrial IoT data with the financial world through our contract middleware, we create a unique pay-per-use financing solution that enables machine buyers to finance machines based on actual usage and allows machine manufacturers (OEMs) to generate more revenues and enter new markets. The linx4 investment fund (linx4 – Equipment Finance Fund 1) will offer institutional investors the opportunity to participate in this attractive asset class.”
Michael Bruckberger - CTO & Co-Founder: "We recognized early on that manufacturing data is also very exciting for non-industry organizations such as financial institutions or insurance companies and that this data also provides great added value there. Our unique technology makes us the enabler for new data-based business models for these industries!"
Statement Business Angels: "We recognize that the equipment financing market, like many other areas of finance, is set to change significantly due to the availability of new data, and we believe that linx4's innovative technology is ideally positioned to do so. The feedback we have received from many market participants appears to confirm our approach. There is also a strong demand from institutional investors for investment opportunities with an attractive and clearly quantifiable risk/return profile, and linx4 is allowing investors to participate in this via the new fund (linx4 – Equipment Finance Fund 1).”
Austrian Wirtschaft Service (Managing Directors Edeltraud Stiftinger & Bernhard Sagmeister): "As aws, we would like to congratulate the company on the successful funding round. linx4 is an impressive example of how innovative digital approaches can be used to generate new products and value chains. We are therefore particularly pleased to be able to support the company right from the start with our aws First Incubator funding program and now on its way to international growth with aws Preseed and aws Seedfinancing," said aws management Edeltraud Stiftinger and Bernhard Sagmeister on the occasion of the current round of financing.
September 2nd, 2020