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Born of necessity, Machinio now top equipment matchmaker

Born of necessity, Machinio
now top equipment matchmaker

by KARL SORENSEN | Feb 12, 2015

Dmitriy Rokhfeld, serial entrepreneur and recent Duke grad, can attest that listening to friends’ problems often has its advantages. In fact, those were the exact circumstances surrounding the genesis of his Chicago-based startup that recently landed him $1M in seed investment.

“My longtime friend and business partner, Dan Pinto, came to me a few years ago and asked if I could help him find a piece of equipment online,” recounts Rokhfeld. “Even with all the available search engines, we still struggled to find the right product.”

Shortly thereafter in 2013, co-founders Rokhfeld and Pinto pooled their resources and founded Machinio, a comprehensive search engine for buying and selling used industrial machinery and heavy equipment. “We saw an opportunity to apply technological innovation to a marketplace that still largely conducts business in a fashion that pre-dates the internet,” explains Rokhfeld.

Developing highly sophisticated web crawlers that systematically aggregate machinery listings from across the web, Machinio’s staff of seven keeps busy connecting 1.25 million equipment listings with 300,000 interested buyers in 30+ countries. Targeting all major categories of equipment, from agriculture to metal working and material handling, used machines of every size and variety are sought, found and sold for thousands, even millions, of dollars.

Incredibly, with over 350,000 buyers now visiting Machinio each month, Rokhfeld and Pinto, two industry rookies, now find themselves sitting atop a web-based conduit that is the number one resource for buying and selling construction machinery.

Dmitriy Rokhfeld, Machinio CEO and co-founder

Dmitriy Rokhfeld, Machinio CEO and co-founder

The duo are not only meeting the needs of an industry deficiency, but they’re also transcending the silos that have traditionally defined and divided the built environment. “I was surprised to see the wide-range of technological competencies across the market,” notes Rokhfeld. “Some companies have great technology teams and understand optimizations and SEOs, while others don’t even own email addresses.” But with Machinio, he adds, even the smallest local companies can have the same presence and impact as larger, national competitors.

And there is even more hope for the future.

“Buy-in has been challenging with some sellers," he admits. "But as younger generations are taking over, companies are beginning to understand technology and the value it provides. Companies are adapting, or at least are willing to have the conversation.”

And Rokhfeld and Pinto are more than happy to join and expand that conversation. So they are gearing up for all the opportunities ahead. “We haven’t event touched a fraction of what can be reached within the industry,” claims Rokhfeld. “So much can be done. So much value can be provided. Right now, we’re connecting interested buyers to successful sellers. But we aim to be a complete, one-stop machinery marketplace, from birth to grave for a fragmented industry.”

With the run of successes the company has already had, who would bet against them?

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