Building strong B2B foundations
After a trip to the US in 2000, Sebastian Wieser and four of his McKinsey colleagues set themselves a challenge – to fill a gaping hole in Germany’s disorganised and analogue procurement market.
They envisioned a simple, transparent system that would change centralised purchasing for SMEs forever. Their idea – a web-based platform that connected a broad network of suppliers with their customers. They called it Mercateo, meaning marketplace.
Our plan was to make procurement processes in Germany simpler and more transparent. We set out to build a web-based purchasing platform with a broad network of suppliers.
More than 20 years in the making
mercateo.com goes live, launching our revolutionary online marketplace in Germany for the first time. Later that year, E.ON Energie takes over.
Sebastian Wieser and Peter Ledermann acquire Mercateo from E.ON in a management buyout.
Hello Köthen! We relocate our German office and grow from nine to 40 employees by the end of the year.
Electronic invoicing and Mercateo BestBasket launches – a unique function that automatically recommends the best combination of price, delivery time and shipping costs.
We sign up RWE as our first key account, introduce an Open Catalogue Interface (OCI) for SAP, and launch mercateo.at in Austria.
In just one year, Mercateo launches in ten new countries: the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the UK.
Hello Leipzig! We open a new German office while our European presence grows, opening premises in Vienna, Maastricht and Paris.
We celebrate a massive milestone – one million customers have joined Mercateo.
A new, bigger building opens in Köthen for our growing team.
Bernd Schönwälder joins the Board, with a strategic focus on markets and sales. And new events, like Mercateo Business Breakfasts and Lunches, position the platform as a place for B2B relationship building.
The Mercateo Academy is created to support colleagues with coaching, training and professional development opportunities.
Our B2B network, Unite, goes live. And SAP Ariba chooses Mercateo as its exclusive spot-buy solution for Europe.
Looking good, Leipzig! Our new headquarters open. Big e-procurement providers, including Jaggaer, OpusCapita, BeNeering, Integra and DIG, all integrate Unite.
The Unite Store gets connected to the Mercateo Procurement Platform.
Happy 20th birthday Mercateo! We celebrate in style just before the Covid-19 pandemic.
A bold new look – we rebrand our platform under the name Unite. Now our Spotmarket, Procurement Portal, and Financial Services are all aligned around our growing network.
As Unite grows, it’s like a village becoming a big city. We have the chance to keep a village culture as we scale, do more work, and optimise our processes.
Making the move from Mercateo to Unite
Now we’re ready for a new chapter. We know that for B2B systems to thrive, they must create value for everyone. For us, that means bringing buyers and sellers together for mutual benefit, connecting the economy for sustainable business. The Unite Network is at the heart of this approach.
That’s why, in 2021, Mercateo became Unite. With Unite, buyers, suppliers and partners can access our Spotmarket, Procurement Portal and Financial Services. Now they can foster connections and benefit from seamless transactions with other business partners on the network, helping build a better future into their supply chain.
Value added. Value shared.
Discover our solutions for buyers and suppliers, and see the difference Unite can make to your business.
Unite for the future
We’re building a sustainable future for B2B – for better business and a better world. Find out how.