Berlin Startup

A Google for Used Forklifts

Heico Koch and Wieland Knodel-Trade Machines
TradeMachines founder Heico Koch and his general manager Wieland Knodel see huge opportunites for trading used equipment on the Internet.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    TradeMachines is an example of the promise and perils facing startups. The used-machinery website has overseen transactions worth over €6 billion and established 47 local marketplaces in six languages, but the company is a long way from turning a profit.

  • Facts


    • Engineer Heico Koch founded Berlin-based in October 2013.
    • The value of used machinery being bought and sold worldwide is $380 billion, and the market is growing annually by 30 percent.
    • About 60,000 dealers are active worldwide on the second-hand machinery market, and most are small and largely active in local markets.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

When engineer Heico Koch wants to solve a problem, he sits down and sketches his thoughts on a large sheet of paper. It was these drawings, scribbled down in Berlin, that he used to compile a video for potential investors.

Ten signed contracts later, he launched his Internet startup, TradeMachines, in October 2013 and later brought Wieland Knodel on board as managing director.

The company offers a search engine for used machinery, covering everything from band saws to diggers. It’s something like a Google for used forklifts. But unlike eBay, it sells nothing on its platform.

TradeMachines lists offers and directs interested visitors to the sellers who pay TradeMachines for bringing in additional customers.

We hope you enjoyed this free article.

Subscribe today and get full access to market-moving news in Europe's leading economy.