Top global buyers across 19 countries sign-up for Buddy’s global marketplace for recycled metal

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, March 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Buddy has announced the debut of a marketplace for B2B metal recyclables that connects buyers directly with sellers. Designed by founders who have spent over three decades in the industry, Buddy is the first platform ‘for scrappies, by scrappies’ and the only relationship-led marketplace to build the trust needed to conduct trades digitally. With some of the world’s leading buyers signed up, the app will play a key role in supporting the $348B metal recycling market’s transition from manual to digital procurement processes, including post-trade administration.

“Most trades are currently conducted using disparate systems and manual processes, creating errors, wasted resources and a myriad of business risks for recyclers. What’s more, most marketplaces out there are ‘managed’ – they anonymise both sides of the transaction, buying for as low as possible and selling for as high as possible. This doesn’t create a pathway for sellers and buyers to build relationships with their counterparties,” explains Stuart Kagan, Co-Founder, Buddy.

In an industry in which relationships are as vital as metal, Buddy matches sellers with appropriate buyers, enabling them to trade efficiently and directly with vetted, trusted partners. “We’re highly selective about who we welcome into the marketplace and the bar for entry is high to ensure we maintain an ecosystem of trust. We hop on a plane so our members don’t have to – our team has done the hard work, including site visits and quality checks,” explains Stuart.

“Buddy’s Founders aren’t just ‘techies’; they’re ‘scrappies’ who deeply understand the problems faced by buyers and sellers of scrap metal globally. What Buddy has built represents a transformative leap into the future. The technology and relationship driven approach will increase trading flows to solve some of the industry’s longest standing challenges. This is a necessity as the world becomes more reliant on recycled materials,” believes John Kells, Co-Managing Partner at New Zealand venture capital firm GD1 (Global From Day One) who funded the startup’s recent pre-Seed raise from its most recent $150m Fund 3. 

Global launch to metal recyclers  

With the demand for recycled metal at an all time high, Buddy has some of the world’s most reputable buyers signed up and on boarded across 19 different countries – including South Korea, China, India, Vietnam, Dubai and Germany.

Buddy will launch the app to metal recyclers from North America, Australia and New Zealand from April onwards at two of the industry’s largest events – Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Convention and Exposition in the US; and Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) World Recycling Convention and Exhibition in Europe where sellers will have an opportunity to meet the team and apply to join as a verified seller.

Supporting true digitisation

“Most companies use WhatsApp, email and spreadsheets as their trading tech stack to collectively trade hundreds of billions of dollars. The industry is missing out on the efficiencies and accuracy that comes with end-to-end process digitisation. What’s more, without comprehensive and integrous data sets, the industry has no basis to leverage the latest in technological advances such as machine learning and AI,” comments Co-Founder Lisa Kagan.  

With Buddy, members will have access to structured data for analysis and decision-making. Buddy enables an unmatched level of instant, real-time data analysis – including a customisable dashboard to support data-driven decision-making in an industry notorious for a reliance on ‘gut feel’. The app allows a company to use parameters including pricing, shipping costs and ratings and reviews to assess the viability of each trade.

 “Through Buddy, we gain access to a significantly larger volume of recycled metal through a diverse range of trusted sellers. With Buddy, we can see who we are buying from and can hold them to account through the platform’s ratings and reviews. The platform also streamlines the entire trading process, from initial offer to the final contract, and the app is really intuitive and easy to use,” says Michael Pawlowski, owner of Oryx – one of the largest buyers of recycled stainless steel in the world.

“Buddy gives us access to a wider network of buyers. The trading process is quick and easy, and takes care of all our back office admin, giving us the ability to capture and analyse our trading data. It’s a no-brainer to sell on Buddy because as a seller it costs us nothing,” comments Matthew Smith, Owner and Vice President of trading and operations at Niles Iron & Metal Co. LLC, in Ohio, USA.

Buddy has also partnered with leading global integration partners for freight, foreign exchange, trade finance and market data and was built in partnership with Paloma, Australasia’s largest venture studio, whose portfolio includes startups such as Chemcloud and Afterpay (Acquired by Block Inc. in 2021 for US$29b).

Placing relationships at the centre

With Buddy, you can see who you’re buying from and selling to and you can hold them to account through the platform’s ratings and reviews. Every user has a profile and Buddy captures multi-media content on-site so counterparties can ‘get to know’ each other and trade on their own terms. Buddy supports trades on any inco terms and any payment terms and it supports direct negotiation between counterparties.

“Steel production makes up a third of the world’s total carbon emissions and using recycled metal in the melting process can reduce these emissions by 80% – but it’s critical to achieve a more reliable and sustainable supply of recycled metal. By placing transparency and trust at the heart of the supply chain, we believe Buddy can reshape the future of metal production,” concludes Lisa.

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