Success story SPAROX - WhatAVenture

How we built a marketplace for spare parts with a leading energy provider in Austria

SPAROX.eu is a corporate startup of Wien Energie and digital marketplace with 40.000+ spare parts and services for the energy sector in the German speaking area.

The challenge

Shortage of spare parts is a key problem in the industry

The shortage of spare parts is a problem many industries are facing, either because manufacturers have limits on production quantities or that even some manufactures no longer exist on the market. 
 
Wien Energie and many other energy providers faced high costs, long delivery times or even non-availability of urgently needed parts. One day or even hours of downtime within energy production usually face costs within a 6-digit number. 
 
With Sparox, Wien Energie wanted to validate the need for a B2B digital marketplace for spare parts. After the successful low-resource validation, Wien Energie invested in the development of the platform that enables the energy providers to trade spare parts among them.
 
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Our approach

We validated the need for a digital multi-sided platform business

As a corporate startup, SPAROX.eu was created as part of the Wien Energie Innovation Challenge ‘18, supported by WhatAVenture. The initial solution to solve the shortage on relevant spare parts was to 3D print spare parts in-house. The use case was extended by the idea to setup a digital marketplace to trade spare parts among energy providers. 
 
WhatAVenture took the role of the in-house venture architect as a full-time hands-on expert in venture building to guide the team in the validation of the business idea, from customer exploration, problem validation to solution validation. 
 
After the validation phase, we further supported the implementation of the project. The platform was developed continuously to become a marketplace with 40.000+ spare parts, services and 3D printing technology for the energy sector in the German speaking area.
„WhatAVenture coached us in the Wien Energie Innovation Challenge Camp on how to validate a business idea in a smart, lean and reliable way with limited resources. Plus, they supported us along multiple early-stage activities. Together with the WhatAVenture interdisciplinary team, SPAROX.eu managed to achieve a 6-digit revenue in 2020„
 
Sonja Zahradník-Leonhartsberger, 
Head of SPAROX and SPAROX 3D
Our approach

Testing if the problem exists

The validation of the marketplace concept was done in less than 4 weeks by:

Our approach

Building the first version of the marketplace

Our approach

Moving from prototype to minimum viable company

„After securing our first corporate funding they supported us along multiple early-stage activities such as customer exploration, problem validation, finding the first partners and customers, setting up a sales and marketing process as well as executing our branding, design and UX/UI for the platform itself.”
 
Sonja Zahradník-Leonhartsberger, 
Head of SPAROX and SPAROX 3D
The impact

More than 30.000 spare parts in the platform

Talks with 49 corporates and 7 associations within 4 weeks in the DACH region

5 signed LOIs before building the platform


6-figure turnover in 2020



Talks with 49 corporates and 7 associations within 4 weeks in the DACH region

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