Startup of the Day: Lithuanian ColibrisODM, an online manufacturing platform for metal parts

ColibrisODM was founded by Justinas Bielskis and Karolis Gaidys, and offers an online on-demand manufacturing platform for automatic quoting and ordering of custom-made & serial metal parts in quantities required. Recently, the startup secured its first investment of €300,000. Its target market is Nordic countries, with the focus on Sweden. ColibrisODM claims that its turnover in 2022 reached over €600,000, and it plans to double it this year.

In the Startup of the Day column, founders of ColibrisODM, share more details about the startup’s idea, its product, and future plans.

The Startup of the Day column on AIN.Capital is dedicated to tech projects from all sectors that originated from the CEE countries. If you would like to introduce your project, please fill in the questionnaire.

Tell us about your startup. How does it work?

We connect SME from Western Europe that has a need for custom-made metal parts with metal processing shops from Baltics.

We work with high mix, low volume products, which are often neglected by large metal processing factories due to high preparation costs. Likewise, we are able to offer production from 3 work days as our production partners are relatively small companies that are highly flexible and fast.

Our web-based platform allows customers to calculate the price for custom-made parts within few minutes. User can quote and order sheet metal parts, adopt delivery time, material and coating. All changes are reflected in the price. Quality is validated by us and customer gets real time updates about production status.

How did you come up with the startup’s idea? What was the reason/motivation behind it?

We have over 20 years combined experience in metal processing, so we know the industry from within. We often encountered situations where customers with relatively small projects were left behind in sense of quality, price and overall customer service.

On the other hand, there are over 150 000 metal processing companies in Baltics and Poland. 99% of those factories have idle capacity that they would be glad to use but are unable to do due to poor performance of sales staff. And in-between we have new technologies like our online calculation engine which allows real time calculation of custom-made sheet metal parts. Calculation is free of charge and no human interaction is needed, customers can order even 1 piece of part immediately and can get it delivered in as fast as 3 days.

How long did it take to reach the prototype or MVP? What did you encounter?

It took about 9 months to “give birth” to the first version of online calculation. We needed another 6 months to fine tune different parts of it. While this is a never ending process of improvements, today we are able to offer laser cutting, bending, drilling and powder coating. Further user experience improvements and new processes like welding will follow later this year.

When exactly did you launch your product? Or when the launch is planned?

We have introduced fully operational version of the platform in the beginning of 2023.

Tell us about the startup’s business model. How do you monetize your product?

We have a special pricing with our production partners. We take the difference between the sales price and the purchase price.

What are your target markets and consumers?

Our target market at the moment is Nordic countries, with the focus on Sweden. We have customers from various industries, starting with exclusive furniture to trains.

If the startup has already launched the product, what are the results: metrics, income, or any clear indicators that can be evaluated.

Our turnover in starting year (2021) was €120,000, in 2022 we reached over €600,000 turnover, this and following years we plan to double turnover each year.

What about your team? How many people are working in the startup? If you’re looking for new employees, indicate whom exactly.

Currently, we are 5 employees, another 4 are joining next month. We are actively looking for strong sales people and new production partners from Baltics and Ukraine.

Have you already raised any investments? Provide us with more details on each funding round: the amount, investors, the purpose of the investment.

Recently, we secured our first investment of €300,000. The round was co-led by CoInvest Capital and LitBAN.

What’s next? Tell us about your future plans.

We are working on our marketing strategy, which will be deployed in Q4. Our main task is raising adverseness and educating the market about the On Demand Manufacturing – business model supported by our platform.

We are also doing a second round of carbon offsetting in early autumn. We calculated how much CO2 we have emitted in 2022, convert it to number of trees it takes to absorb that CO2 and will plant them. This year we are going to plant over 2 500 trees.