ESA BIC Bavaria alumni klarx is running a smart leasing platform for construction equipment. As a pioneer company, klarx intends to revolutionise the analogue processes with its platform for construction equipment. According to its own statement, klarx is striving to bridge the gap between lessees and lessors. The prospective customers address the respective construction rental company directly for construction machine rental options. By combining data and an algorithm with the European satellite navigation system Galileo, klarx is able to determine the sites of machines and the arising logistics costs.
ESA BIC Bavaria Manager Cornelia Gebath (CG) interviews Christian Holzapfel (CH), Communications Manager at klarx.
CG: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
CH: klarx is an online platform for the rental of construction equipment. Founded in 2015 by Matthias & Florian Handschuh together with Vincent Koch, klarx became Germany’s leading online provider for heavy equipment with over 50 employees today. We have more than 250,000 machines available that we source from our suppliers nationwide to offer our customers an efficient digital sourcing channel for their equipment needs.
CG: What has been your company’s biggest challenge so far?
CH: As we are pioneers in digitalising the construction industry, our biggest challenge has been to convince people that online sourcing channels work in construction as well as they already do in the B2C field. We’ve achieved that and are very happy with the acceptance we have on the market now. At present, our biggest challenge – as for every startup – is to find capable new employees as we are growing rapidly.
CG: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
CH: klarx success is based on our incredibly committed team of founders. Their vision and spirit are what make klarx a great business model and an incredible company to work with. Additionally, we have a very close relationship with our customers and suppliers. We are in close contact to enhance our product for their needs every day. Last – and this goes hand in hand with the previous point – is our excellent network, which has made outstanding relationships with our supplier network possible and put us in a place where we’re always at the nucleus of new trends in the industry.
CG: What did you expect from ESA BIC Bavaria?
CH: ESA BIC Bavaria was one of our earliest supporters. We’ve expected and received technological expertise to improve our algorithm, which searches for the right machines all over Germany. We have also received financial funding, a strong network with other industry players and startups, and, of course, media coverage to spread the word about klarx.
CG: How did the DLR support you?
CH: For us, DLR represents a creative hub that was a platform to exchange ideas and a melting pot to meet other entrepreneurs. Both ESA BIC Bavaria’s and the DLR’s support regarding our development and the progress we have made were a great motivation to focus on our core business and never lose sight of our KPIs. The reports we delivered to them were the foundation for presenting the potential of klarx to other investors and making our Series A possible in September 2018.
CG: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in klarx’s future?
CH: We are already the leading online platform for machinery rental in Germany. The near future will be full of new adventures in international markets as our vision is to be the leading platform for every need on construction sites all over Europe. Besides internationalisation, we’ll see strong partnerships with suppliers and manufacturers with the aim of optimising their utilisation with our algorithm, which was made possible with the support of ESA BIC Bavaria. So, we’ll really be reaching for the stars – thanks to our initial support from ESA BIC Bavaria.