Marketplace for semiconductor equipment

Last Funded January 2014


raised from 19 investors
$1M Seed Round by Flight Ventures
Last updated March 2015

Our Team

The Marketplace

Anton Brevde, Jonathan Pease, and Garrett Beck were recent grads with great paying jobs, but they had a problem.

They hated their high-paying jobs.

None of them had studied engineering, but there they were, working as brokers for a company that bought and sold manufacturing equipment. Brevde says the whole things was “a joke.”

“I had no business putting these transactions together, making the amount of money I was making,” he says. “It really made no sense.”

There are literally thousands of brokers just like them across the country, who wheel and deal capital equipment over the phone.

Brevde, Pease, and Beck couldn’t believe how chemical engineers had no choice but to depend on young, inexperienced brokers like them — brokers who didn’t understand how the equipment worked, or how it would be used — when they needed to buy parts or machinery.

The three of them were on their way to work one day when they decided to do something about it. They quit their jobs, and vowed to make things better.

Google alum Danial Afzal joined their crusade shortly thereafter and, since launching in June, the Y-Combinator-backed company has experienced 250% month-over-month growth. The site is free to use, and makes revenue through a relatively affordable 5-10% commission on all sales. This simple model brought in more than $131,000 in August, while the annual earning potential is worth $5-billion.

How Asseta Works

Asseta is like eBay or Amazon, but instead of consumer goods, it focuses on capital equipment — the machinery used for front and back end processes, wafering, facilities, assembly, test, lab, electronic, and mechanical work.

The site connects companies in need of parts or equipment with other companies that have what they’re looking for. The whole process is easy and transparent, since no middlemen are involved. Sellers just name their price, or invite buyers to make them an offer — Asseta leaves the price-setting up to them, but collects a pre-determined commission (5-10%) for facilitating the sale. And because Asseta knows how the corporate world works, they can help with purchase orders, contracts, and oft-necessary approval chains.

Still, there’s more to the site than just buying and selling: It helps companies manage their entire inventory of equipment, too — even if they don’t want to sell it.

“Our online dashboard has a way of keeping track of what they have,” Brevde says, noting many corporations have a hard time keeping their capital equipment collection in check.

“They’re really disorganized about their equipment, especially their warehouse equipment,” he says. “Old equipment gets put in a warehouse, and everyone basically forgets about it.”

The Asseta dashboard helps managers keep track of what they have, and remember where they have it. And if they don’t need something anymore, they can list it in the Asseta Marketplace with a few simple clicks.

Meanwhile, the site discreetly keeps track of who has what, so if a spare part becomes available, Asseta automatically alerts the companies that might need it without them ever having to ask.

Lost and Found

As a broker, Brevde saw companies buy things they already had because they either forgot they had it, or didn’t know where it was. This might not be such a big deal if the equipment in question was a dusty inkjet printer worth $50, but in the world of manufacturing, a company’s cache of forgotten-about equipment can be worth tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars.

Brevde even saw brokers buy equipment from one branch of a company, then turn around and sell it for a higher price to another branch of that same company.

“Companies will buy things from another one of their own locations through a broker, and they won’t find out until it gets there and it has their sticker on it,” he says in disbelief. “

Serious Savings

Companies can protect their bottom line in a big way by buying secondhand capital equipment.

“We sell things for, generally, 10-20% of the original price,” Brevde says. “An optical coater that Oakley bought in 2001 for $224,000 sold on the Asseta website for $40,000.”

By eliminating middlemen and brokers, many manufacturers are able to acquire the equipment they need for much, much less.

“I think what’s really exciting about what we’re doing, besides saving these big companies money, is really having a much bigger impact on smaller companies that are just getting started,” Brevde says. “For them, capital equipment is kind of their biggest fear.”

He hopes Asseta’s open-air marketplace will encourage entrepreneurs and innovation.

“We want to lower the barriers of entry,” he says. “It could have a really transformative effect.”