Article Written By: Jamil Rahman
The team at Aucto is excited to celebrate a milestone today. We are announcing our seed funding round which will give us the ability to continue to build on the growth our company has experienced over the last few years. More importantly, this investment from NFX and Motivate Venture Capital gives our team confidence and validation that we are helping organizations solve a big problem and making a difference. Read more about it in the exclusive interview I did with Joanna Glasner at Crunchbase.
Sustainability is hot topic right now (as indicated in the graph below). It seems you can’t go too far into a business conversation, a news article, or a website without running into it. I think this trend can be attributed to people realizing that the earth’s resources are finite. This awareness has certainly shifted consumer behavior, which of course has forced the business community to come along for the ride.
The industrial manufacturing sector, which is typically quite sheltered from consumer whims, is finally catching on to this realization as well. If you walk into the headquarters of any major manufacturing company, you will likely see a corporate sustainability initiative posted in the lobby somewhere. Businesses are realizing that the throw-away culture of the past will not work for the future, and supply chains are being increasingly scrutinized for waste.
Despite their efforts, I believe there is still a huge opportunity to reduce waste in the supply chain. According to the US Census Bureau, the manufacturing sector spent over a trillion dollars on new equipment and machinery for operations in 2019. Most of this capital expenditure is going towards upgrades and retrofits. The process to procure, track and depreciate these new assets are well established. But no one ever talks about what happens with the old assets that are being retired or become surplus. In the 15 years, I have been around the industry, I have personally helped organizations sell their surplus assets on the secondary market for hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, the used equipment industry is a 400-billion-dollar market you likely have never heard of. Unfortunately, the majority of surplus assets (with many years of lifespan left) still end up in landfills and scrap yards.
I don’t believe this happens due to wilful negligence on the part of the industry. Most asset managers would love to improve their ROA and help their organization become more sustainable; however, manufacturing enterprises are large organizations that are complex to navigate. Asset managers are effectively missing the infrastructure (software) needed to identify, share, and recover value from surplus assets without detracting them from their core business.
And that brings me back to our funding announcement. Aucto’s enterprise platform can help simplify this process by providing visibility on surplus, shining a light on redeployment opportunities, and providing a powerful marketplace to resell surplus assets back on the second market.
Our team is on a mission is to help the industry reduce waste by providing a more sustainable solution for surplus assets, and I’m incredibly thankful to have an awesome team to embark on this exciting and meaningful journey ahead.
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