|After two years in New York and San Francisco, a new search engine that focuses on buying and selling used industrial equipment has moved its headquarters to Chicago.
The website Built in Chicago reports that Machinio.com serves as an online search engine and, practically, as a forum for the purchase and sale of industrial, agricultural, and construction equipment. Dmitriy Rokhfeld, one of the co-founders, decided to move to Chicago in part due to its proximity to the headquarters of major industrial and farming companies such as Caterpillar and John Deere.
“In Chicago, there are so many connections that individuals have with those types of markets that we had a much easier time recruiting for various positions,” Rokhfeld said. “In Chicago, we’re seen as more of a cooler startup, where in San Francisco we were seen as an unsexy one.”
According to him, the worth of used mechanical equipment sold in the global marketplace is enormous, anywhere from $200 billion to $500 billion every year.
Rokhfeld and fellow co-founder Dan Pinto launched the company in 2013, after Pinto had difficulties finding a used printing press for sale. Founded in San Francisco, the company quickly moved to New York in order to join Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, a company that trains and supports start-up businesses. During their time in New York, the duo raised $1 million from venture capitalist firms and individual investors. Eventually, the company moved back to San Francisco for a short time before settling on Chicago.
“For us, it became where could we hire great talent, and where could our company really grow,” Rokhfeld said. “We saw that being much more possible in a place like Chicago.”
The search engine consolidates information from tens of thousands of individual dealer websites of used industrial machinery around the globe and presents it in a user-friendly platform.
“Right now, our goal is to remain incredibly focused on one thing, and that’s providing a great experience to our buyers so they can find anything available online,” Rokhfeld added. “Right here on Machinio.”
Search engines are becoming one of the dominant features of the Internet. MarketingCharts recently found, for example, that 39% of all online customers come from the use of search engines.