The European B2B marketplace market is growing at a rapid rate and continuing to attract bigger amounts of investment money, says a new research report.
The report — The Europe B2B Marketplaces Top 25 Ranking 2023, from Applico Inc. — says the 25 marketplaces in the ranking have raised more than $2.1 billion over time. 85% of the money is flowing into marketplaces in building materials, retail, and food products.
“In broad terms, investors in the U.S. have followed a similar path with building materials, food products, B2B marketplaces accounting for over 40% of capital raised across leading digital B2B marketplaces in the U.S.,” the report says.
But a rising new area of investment is “marketplaces focused on industrial machinery for contract manufacturing, where successful businesses in the U.S. have attracted $475 million of capital,” the report says. “There are a few marketplaces in Europe that have similar business models and capabilities.”
European B2B marketplace growth
Examples of B2B marketplace operators targeting Europe for growth include Amazon Business and Xometry. Amazon Business is improving logistics operations in Europe to make it more attractive for corporate-account customers to make bulk purchases of supplies ranging from desks and IT equipment to paper and printer ink. That provides Amazon the opportunity to reap higher margins compared with small-order retail consumer sales.
“Because businesses buy in larger quantities, the fulfillment economics are more advantageous,” Amazon told Reuters.
Amazon Business entered the European market when it opened for business in Germany in 2016, followed by Great Britain in 2017. It also operates in France, Italy and Spain.
The ecommerce company deals with such corporate clients as:
- Electrical equipment manufacturer ABB
- Renewable energy technology company Siemens Gamesa
- Energy technology engineering firm Centrica Business Solutions
When asked if Amazon Business intends to enter additional markets in Europe, a spokeswoman said the company “can’t comment on future plans.”
In January, Xometry Inc., an online marketplace connecting enterprise buyers with suppliers of manufacturing services, expanded its footprint in Europe, with the launch of xometry.uk in the United Kingdom.
With the expansion into the U.K., Xometry Europe now offers localized marketplaces in nine languages. Those languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish.
Xometry’s localized marketplaces allow regional customers to get quotes and purchase parts directly in local currency.
“Our continued expansion across Europe reflects our commitment to becoming the global marketplace for the large and growing industrial market,” said Dmitry Kafidov, managing director of Xometry Europe.
The Xometry marketplace for U.K. customers offers manufacturing capabilities to produce both prototypes and high-volume batches. The service, available today, offers 15 manufacturing technologies. They include CNC machining, 3D printing and injection molding, as well as 120 materials and dozens of finishing options. Xometry U.K. also offers various types of certifications and quality-control reports for end parts.
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