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Mercateo: A digital pioneer for 20 years

Leipzig, 3 November 2020 - Mercateo is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Founded in 2000 in Munich by Sebastian Wieser, the one-time startup survived when the New Economy bubble burst at the turn of the millennium, and has since soared to become Europe’s leading B2B marketplace.

In fact, over 100,000 companies in 14 European countries have already digitised their indirect procurement with Mercateo. The Mercateo Group, which also includes the B2B network Unite, now turns over hundreds of millions of euros annually (2019: €316 million) and employs more than 600 people across Europe.

Twenty years ago, board member Sebastian Wieser founded Mercateo with the aim of revolutionising the cluttered procurement market for business customers in Germany and making B2B more efficient. As fellow board member Peter Ledermann explains: “People don’t think that modern internet technology from Germany is any good. But we’ve been proving the opposite for 20 years. Mercateo has played a pioneering role in contributing to the digitisation of indirect procurement and launched the triumphant progress of B2B platforms in Germany.”

Operating out of first Munich and later Köthen and then Leipzig, from the outset Mercateo has relied on its own software made in Germany and developed features to simplify digital purchasing. They include unique search functions and filters, shopping basket optimisation, and digital networking with suppliers via the B2B network Unite. “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 20 years and look forward to the next 20! We’d like to thank our staff, customers, suppliers and partners for being such a pleasure to work with,” said Peter.

What does the future hold for Mercateo? Development work currently focuses on the B2B network Unite, which provides companies with the infrastructure they need to digitally map business relationships that have evolved over years in just a few steps. To this end, the network is also connected to leading procurement systems such as SAP Ariba, which Unite has made available to its customers as a Spot Buy solution in Europe since its launch. Unite also provides the digital platform behind initiatives such as ‘Leipzig vernetzt’, which supports digital regional networking in and around Leipzig. “Our customers want a digital platform for everything. We’re therefore merging the marketplace for tail-end products with digital networking for important business relationships under Unite,” explains Ledermann. Moreover, construction work has begun on Mercateo’s new headquarters in Leipzig. With the company growing all the time, once the building is complete in 2023, it’s expected to accommodate 500 employees.

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