Heilbronn, February 19th, 2024 – Siemens AG has acquired Inspekto GmbH, a startup in the field of high-performance visual inspection and part of the portfolio of venture capitalist D11Z. Ventures (formerly Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn). This transaction marks a significant step in the development of Inspekto.

Thomas Villinger, Managing Director of D11Z. Ventures, explains: “Inspekto is a prime example of our strategy of investing in promising digital start-ups. Since our investment in 2017, we have actively supported Inspekto’s growth within Europe. For us, now is the ideal time to exit. We are very pleased about the sale to Siemens.”

Today, Inspekto is regarded as a pioneering company in autonomous image processing. The company offers AI-controlled inspection solutions for industrial processes. Its technology mimics cognitive human vision for quality control. It can be used in a wide range of industries such as mechanical engineering, the automotive sector, electronics, and consumer goods and is capable of inspecting processes such as metal casting, plastic injection moulding, coatings, mechanical assembly, material removal processes, incoming goods inspection, and packaging & labeling in an integrated, centrally controlled, stand-alone or mobile system.

“Our goal is to make automated visual inspection solutions accessible to manufacturers of all sizes and production flexibility,” says Ulrich Eger, CEO of Inspekto GmbH. Due to economic change and the need for dynamic production requirements, the demand from manufacturers for flexible, autonomous quality inspection systems has risen continuously worldwide. “With Siemens AG, Inspekto has now found a strong partner to continue to successfully develop and offer the products, technologies, and services of Inspekto GmbH worldwide,” adds Eger.

Siemens, a client of Inspekto, emphasises that the company’s technology contributes significantly to quality improvement in production. The acquisition by Siemens is the result of a fruitful collaboration and paves the way for the global expansion of Inspekto technology.

“Inspekto’s innovative AI technology and capabilities are another valuable addition to our industrial AI software portfolio. This strengthens our offering in the Siemens Industrial Edge ecosystem for our customers. The main application is the easy-to-use automated visual quality inspection based on image processing,” says Rainer Brehm, CEO of Siemens Factory Automation.

Further information at: https://inspekto.com/de/

About D11Z. Ventures

D11Z.Ventures is a venture capital fund that has been realigned since the beginning of 2024 and invests in start-ups and key technologies with a clear focus on digital business models in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), deep tech, software services (SaaS), and the Internet of Things (especially asset-light IoT). It emerged from the established Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn (ZFHN), which was founded in 2005 with the aim of promoting industrial change in the Heilbronn region. As an early-stage investor focused on technology,
D11Z. Ventures intends to promote sustainable digital innovations and visionary entrepreneurship both nationally and internationally, thereby accelerating the digital transformation in Europe.

Further information at: www.d11z.com  

Press contact 

Katrin Wollgast, The Future CMO
+49 (0)16098616353

  • Founded in 2021, Berlin-based akirolabs empowers procurement organisations to unlock 4-5x higher sustainable business value beyond traditional cost savings.
  • The funding round was led by HTGF, OTB Ventures and D11Z. Ventures and strengthened by angel investments from industry leaders Fredrick Spalcke, Heiko Schwarz, Markus Ehrle, and Detlef Schultz.
  • The funds will be used to evolve akirolabs SaaS product and enhance its AI capabilities, as well as to further scale customer growth and business operations.


Berlin, January 29, 2024 – akirolabs, a Berlin-based ProcureTech startup, enabling enterprises worldwide to augment strategic procurement processes, announced that it has raised $5M in its recent seed funding round.

Investors in this round included HTGF, OTB Ventures, D11Z. Ventures, and Switzerland’s Serpentine Ventures, alongside angel investments from industry leaders such as Fredrick Spalcke (ex-CPO of Phillips & Huawei), Heiko Schwarz (CEO of riskmethods), Markus Ehrle (VP and General Manager EMEA at ServiceNow), and Detlef Schultz (former CEO of the Vodafone Procurement Company).

Notably, akirolabs has also appointed Jens Rassloff as the Chairman of the Advisory Board. Jens holds similar roles at Coparion, Parloa, and d.velop and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the tech industry, specifically in the areas of growth, innovation, and investment strategies.

akirolabs’ large corporate customers across the globe and across various industries, as well as internationally leading analysts, appreciate and recognize akirolabs’ innovation power and uniqueness. The startup’s recognitions include Gartner “Cool Vendor”, Gartner’s “Hype Cycle Sample Vendor”, “IDC Innovator 2023”, Spend Matters “Future 5”, and ProcureTech’s “Top 100 Pioneers”.

akirolabs highlights that while digitalization in procurement in the past was primarily focused on operational and tactical solutions for efficiency and savings, industry benchmarks indicate a much higher value potential in strategic procurement. This potential is often untapped due to capability gaps. Also, the current macroeconomic challenges and recent black swan events have amplified and accelerated the need for more strategic procurement. To address this challenge, akirolabs offers an AI-powered strategic procurement SaaS solution, enabling its customers to unlock and achieve 4-5 times higher value from procurement, – beyond savings.

“We’re very grateful for the trust placed into akirolabs in this funding round. It emphasizes the imperative of advanced strategic procurement software in today’s economic environment. In these challenging times, akirolabs does not just facilitate savings on price.”, says Michael Pleuger, CEO of akirolabs. “Much more, our solution delivers tangible improvements in total cost and supply chain resilience, sustainability and agility, strengthening the competitiveness of our customers.”

“…What you have created is significant… there is no doubt in my mind that this is a breakthrough innovation. akirolabs is on a trajectory to eliminate much of the category management function as we know it. today.”, says Elouise Epstein, KEARNEY Partner & best-selling author on Digital Procurement.

Christian Arndt, Senior Investment Manager at HTGF, added“We are convinced that akirolabs builds an international category leader in strategic procurement and we are looking forward supporting the team on its path.“

With the advent of LLMs, there is an opportunity to transform the strategic aspects of procurement decision-making. Founding teams that combine a deep domain expertise with technical prowess will thrive in this environment.”, says Mateusz Lukasik, Investment Director at OTB Ventures. “akirolabs fits the bill and we are excited to support them.”

Adding value beyond cost savings, akirolabs will set new standards in strategic procurement management.”, says Thomas R. Villinger, Managing Director at D11Z. Ventures.

About akirolabs:

akirolabs, founded in 2021 by Michael Pleuger, Detlef Schultz, Christoph Flöthmann, and Tim Ergenzinger, develops and provides an AI powered SaaS platform for collaborative strategic procurement. akirolabs is based upon a world-class and industry proven strategic procurement process, methodology and toolkit, embedded into an intuitive cross-functional collaboration workflow and enriched with all relevant internal and external business insight. akirolabs’ unique approach delivers “Procurement Strategies with Value & Purpose” and a significantly broader and 4-5 times higher value contribution than traditional souring solutions.

Press Contact:

akirolabs GmbH
Greifswalder Str. 208
10405 Berlin
Tel:+49 30 754 384 66