The Halle-based technology company produces digital copies of vehicles. An apparently high burn rate and failed financing have now led to the company filing for bankruptcy.
With its scanner technology, the startup Twinner from Halle (Saxony-Anhalt) wanted to “take used car trading to a new level”. But due to losses in ongoing business and a failed financing round, the future of the technology company is now in question. At the end of December, Twinner had to file for bankruptcy. “Due to the immense development effort, Twinner has not yet been able to break even,” states the provisional insolvency administrator Lucas Flöther. The company therefore “necessarily needs a new investor in order to further develop its innovative business model and make it profitable in the long term”. The Halle lawyer from the law firm Flöther & Wissing is one of the most renowned insolvency administrators in Germany. In recent years he has been, among other things, insolvency administrator for the airlines Air Berlin and Condor.
Twinner creates digital copies of vehicles
Twinner was founded in Leipzig in 2017 and moved to Halle the following year. The first donors included the Leipzig investment consultant Jozsef Bugovics and the IBG investment fund from the state of Saxony-Anhalt. Twinner has developed scanner technology that can create complete digital images of the interior and exterior of cars. Even the smallest damage or repairs to the vehicle should be detected and recorded.
According to Flöther's information, the company operates 16 such scanner systems nationwide, including at car dealership chains. At the end of 2022, for example, a cooperation with Carsale24, one of Germany's leading online automobile auction platforms, was concluded. The digital copy is intended to enable car buyers to purchase vehicles securely online without first inspecting them on site.
In 2021, the startup received 40 million euros
In a second round of financing in 2021, the company said it raised around 40 million euros from investors. The Japanese industrial conglomerate Sojitz Corporation, an international company in the areas of automobile assembly, wholesale and retail, was acquired as a financier and partner. The group wanted to use Twinner to accelerate the digitalization of the Japanese automobile market.
According to the insolvency administrator, Twinner recently digitized 100,000 vehicles per year. The fact that the tech company spent 40 million euros in around two years suggests that the company had a high burn rate. However, cost-cutting measures have already been introduced: the number of employees fell from 200 to 65, and 20 more positions are up for grabs. According to Flöther, the company also began an international investor process last year to reorganize the company's financing and secure further growth. Flöther now wants to intensify the investor process together with the previous management duo Silvan C. Rath and Tobias Walther-Merkwitz. “Entering insolvency proceedings is much more attractive for investors,” emphasizes Flöther. Business operations are currently continuing.