Links in the chain
In the timber industry, there are many links in the chain between the sawmill that cuts the tree into planks and the businesses that process the timber in their end products, such as importers, traders, agents and others. And each link must earn a living. The intermediary trade drives up the price of wood, making the product more expensive to purchase than necessary. By directly connecting buyers and sellers of wood via the online platform, VonWood offers more insight into supply and demand, more security of supply and higher returns.
Remove barriers through transparency
"The timber industry is fragmented with little understanding of origin, quality and working conditions. Businesses that buy timber on a large scale have limited control over the supply and therefore run the risk of ceasing their production. Sawmills, on the other hand, have little insight into demand, so they produce on the basis of an estimate, often resulting in a surplus or shortage of stock. By directly connecting supply and demand, we want to remove those risks" - David de Jong, founder and CEO of VonWood.
With the investment of 2.7 million euros, the startup wants to accelerate the growth of the platform and shake up the traditional supply chain. Confidence in VonWood's plans comes, among others, from Dutch investors Peak, Dutch Founders Fund and Keen. Peak co-founder Johan van Mil: “You need guts to digitize an old market, but it also requires platform-thinking to organize processes more efficiently. VonWood has what it takes to modernize the timber trade using data-driven technology.” Investor Dutch Founders Fund and co-founder of Just Eat, Laurens Groenendijk: “Wood is crucial in construction, but most buyers do not have direct access to the source: the sawmill. VonWood is now changing that. We believe in the team, the product and of course the sustainable impact they make.”
“You need guts to digitize an old market, but it also requires platform thinking to organize processes more efficiently. VonWood has what it takes to modernize the timber trade using data-driven technology.” - Johan van Mil, co-founder Peak.
Not only is wood one of the oldest materials we use to shape our environment, it is also one of the most future-proof building materials available. Wood is much more sustainable than building materials such as concrete or steel. With natural building materials such as wood, CO2 emissions from construction can be reduced.
“Wood is crucial in construction, but most buyers do not have direct access to the source: the sawmill. VonWood is now changing that. We believe in the team, the product and of course the sustainable impact they make.” Investor Dutch Founders Fund and co-founder of Just Eat, Laurens Groenendijk.
VonWood provides insight into the origin, the quality and sustainability of the wood. In addition to the conventional replanting of FSC-approved wood, they additionally compensate for every transaction on the platform by planting new trees.
“VonWood has turned the timber market upside down in a short period of time. We are convinced that VonWood can make a major contribution to making the trade in wood more sustainable and more transparent. We look forward to this journey”, says Robert Verwaayen, partner at Keen.
About the investment
The 2.7 million euro investment in VonWood is led by institutional investors Peak, Dutch Founders Fund and Keen. In addition, a number of strategic partners are also investing. Peak has just started a fifth fund of 150 million and previously invested in Catawiki and United Wardrobe, among others. Dutch Founders Fund focuses in particular on investing in companies with a marketplace formula, such as Shypple and Yourcampus. Keen invests in fast-growing tech-driven companies and has Crisp in its portfolio, among others. With the 2.7 million euros, VonWood can accelerate the growth and development of the platform in 2023.
Founded in May 2022, VonWood wants to make working with wood more widely available in the market. With an online timber trading platform that connects buyer and seller directly, without intermediaries. This increases trade opportunities, ensures more efficiency, lowers the price, and provides more transparency about the origin and quality of the wood. Building with wood is better for the planet and should be a no-brainer.