matriq, offering next-generation marking of plastics products, secures 4.2 million Swiss francs in a late-seed round. The round was led by an industrial investor and joined by FT AG, InnoHolding, Fortyone AG, Fortimo Business AG, Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB), Venture Kick, and by matriq’s seed investors. matriq will further develop its flagship product and expand the sales and service organization in Europe and USA. We interviewed CEO and Co-founder André Bernard to learn more about his entrepreneurial path.
Founded in 2019 as a spinoff from OST Ostschweizer Fachhochschule (the former NTB Buchs), matriq has developed “the unique watermark for plastics”, a marking solution to enable identity, traceability, and brand trust for plastics products for MedTech, automotive and industrial applications. matriq offers a completely novel method to individually mark plastics parts with a camera-readable 2D code directly in the forming processes such as injection molding. DM-date, matriq`s first product was launched earlier this year and constitutes the world’s first digital date and time stamp for injection molding. DM-date, a tiny mold insert, marks each individual part automatically with the exact manufacturing time and date. “From the HB-Therm’s customer base I see a huge potential for “DynamicMold”. The new flagship product will radically change the global marking industry,” says Reto Zürcher, CEO of HB-Therm who has invested in matriq and was elected member of the board of directors.
Today, matriq starts implementing its DynamicMold technology with customers in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Italy. This opens the European market of over 14’000 plastics manufacturers with around 200’000 installed manufacturing machines, summing up to 35% of the 280 bn EUR global plastic injection molding market. In addition, the request for marking products is growing rapidly.
“Our investors are aware of the huge market opportunity and the disruptive potential of our DynamicMold solution”, says co-founder and CEO André Bernard, “It is a particularly strong sign of trust that the majority of our first-round investors joined this financing round as well. I am very grateful.”
matriq was selected as one of the Venture Leaders in Technology in 2021 and is among the TOP 100 Swiss Startups in 2022 again. The team won the prestigious ZKB Pionierpreis Technopark in 2021 and the Startfeld Diamant in 2020. “These awards are a clear expression of matriq’s innovative technology and its disruptive market potential.”, comments Klaus Dietrich, co-founder and CTO of
We interviewed CEO and Co-founder André Bernard to learn more about his entrepreneurial path.
André, how will the CHF 4.2 million investment help achieve your vision?
Our vision is to become the global provider of a game-changing marking solution in the plastic parts manufacturing industry for identity, traceability, and brand protection. The new investment will boost our development of the flagship product, the DM-qode, a 200-pixel, 14 by 14 DataMatrix code generator and make it market-ready. We will expand our sales activity into Europe and the US market. We further develop the software solution to enable the digital twin of every part produced enhanced with all their production process parameters in the cloud. This will help push forward the industry 4.0 realm of injection modling.
You won Venture Kick stage 3 in 2021. How did it help you lay the foundation for your growth and today’s achievement?
Going through the Venture Kick process helped us strongly to focus on our product-market fit and our business model, and it brought us into contact with investors that then stepped into the cap table of our seed round. We are grateful to have been awarded stage 3 of venture kick – we now converted the 150’000 CHF to equity in this round. I can only recommend this program to founders of new startups.
You also participated in Venture Leaders Deeptech in 2021 and were selected for the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Awards in 2021 and 2022. How did it leverage your fundraising strategy?
With the “Deeptech” team of Venture Leaders, we had the chance to go to Munich and London to engage with various VC Investors and to pitch our startup on many occasions. Not to forget the interactions and exchanges with like-minded startup founders and CEOs – this is a real electrifying spirit. We came into contact with a lot of professionals in the venture capital scene and learned to shape our tech story.
To be awarded twice already for TOP 100 is a great honor for us and brought strong visibility for matriq, not only on the investors’ side but also to potential clients and partners. It is great to be part of the “shapers of tomorrow”!
When, and what, was your inspiration to found matriq?
Still at the University of Applied Science Buchs (Fachhochschule OST, former NTB) we could show the proof of principle of our marking technology inside the plastic forming tool. After we had patented it and set up an Innosuisse project with industrial partners, we realized its potential, technologically and by market opportunity. The decision came to either let it drop or start to further develop it as a fresh spin-off. Four of us from the institute for micro-and nanotechnology founded matriq in 2019 and put see on a fascinating journey. For myself, it was not the first startup that I founded – obviously, I endure the rollercoaster run of startups.
What is your advice for the potential high-tech entrepreneurs launching companies in Switzerland today?
I believe it is of great importance to engage with potential customers/users of the future product as early as possible to solidly ground the innovation and to focus on the tech that really helps to solve a specific, well-defined, problem on the market. Engineers as deep-tech founders easily tend to put tech too much into focus… and there is much more to it for having success in the business. And as the second piece of advice, plan well ahead on how much money you are going to need on your road to developing a tech solution, incorporating a few redesign circles and “insurmountable“ engineering challenges… start early with fundraising from private and professional investors, and from innovation funding organizations such as Innosuisse.
Sources : matriq Press Release and interview by Guillaume Tinsel
Our DynamicMold technology facilitates marking plastic components directly inside the primary forming process with an individual and unique watermark code: for each product individually, machine reada… Read more