LEA Partners invests 2.1 million euros in Smart Steel Technologies to expand its AI solutions for steel production

  • Smart Steel uses artificial intelligence to optimize processes in steel mills, reducing energy and CO2 consumption and improving product quality
  • LEA Partners invests 2.1 Mio. Euro 


Karlsruhe, Germany, 6th November 2019 – Smart Steel Technologies has successfully concluded a financing round with LEA Partners for EUR 2.1 million. Smart Steel Technologies is the only supplier in the world that provides ready-to-use AI solutions for steel production. The targets for these solutions are primarily temperature optimization, reduction of casting defects and improved quality control.

With its AI-based software, Smart Steel Technologies makes established steel production more efficient and sustainable. Existing AI models are optimized based on historical production data. Temperature, energy consumption and CO2 emissions can be reduced without costly testing. The software determines causal relationships between process parameters and quality achieved. Measures derived from this lead to a sustainable increase in quality. To achieve this, the company relies on a team of experienced metallurgy and AI experts.

Reduced CO2 emissions and energy consumption, as well as a constantly higher quality level, enable every steel mill to achieve significant improvements in profitability.

LEA Partners' growth financing will provide the company, which was founded in Berlin at the beginning of 2019, with support from an investor for the first time. The capital will primarily be invested in the further development of software products and the establishment of additional customer relations in Europe. In addition, a development site is to be opened at the distinguished AI cluster in Karlsruhe and expansion into the USA will be propelled forward.

Dr. Falk-Florian Henrich, founder and CEO of Smart Steel Technologies, comments: "The steel industry is under enormous competitive pressure worldwide. At the same time, plants can only optimize their processes at liquid steel temperatures above 1550 degrees Celsius under extreme risk. With our AI-based software, on the other hand, they receive a tool with which they can reduce energy consumption in steel production and achieve enormous monetary savings. We were also able to convince LEA Partners of this vision and they are supporting us along the way."

Bernhard Janke, Partner at LEA Partners, adds: “Smart Steel Technologies opens up new possibilities for the steel industry with the help of artificial intelligence. The practical success of the products, the combined expertise of IT development and metallurgy in the team, and the contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the industry made a lasting impression on us.”

About Smart Steel Technologies

Smart Steel Technologies is the world's only supplier of smart, concretely applicable solutions for process optimization in steel mills. These serve on the one hand to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions and on the other hand to improve product quality and the related costs. The applications currently focus on temperature optimization for the liquid phase, the reduction of casting defects and the stabilization of surface inspection. The increased efficiency enables companies to significantly reduce costs and emissions. The company started its activities in 2016, was founded in 2019 by Dr. Falk-Florian Henrich as Smart Steel Technologies and currently employs 15 people at its headquarters in Berlin.

About LEA Partners

LEA Partners is an entrepreneurial-minded multi-stage private equity firm investing in growth technology companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Founded in 2002, LEA Partners has advised on the investment in several companies. Operating out of Karlsruhe, one of Europe's largest technology clusters, its mission is to fund and support ambitious founders and executives by leveraging them with practical, hands-on growth expertise to achieve market leadership.

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