This article is written by one of our contributor Stefan Perlebach.
This week we are welcoming Christian Römlein, CEO of intelligent fluids GmbH. Christian has 30 years experience in building up innovative companies on a global scale and holds a master’s degree in economics plus MBA and has been the Senator h.c. in the biggest German association for SME named BVMW. With intelligent fluids GmbH, he is now on a mission to:
“clean industries in an eco-friendly but powerful way”.
In this interview Christian will tell us about his business and why he and his team have chosen a Security Token Offering as a means to raise funds.
Enjoy the Interview
What problem is the intelligent fluids GmbH addressing?
Industrial cleaning is still based on billion tons of aggressive chemistry and solvents that are powerful in functionality but harm people, nature and equipment. In order to enable eco-friendly manufacturing sites an alternative is needed that can compete in performance but is intrinsically eco-friendly. Thus, at the moment intelligent fluid is the only innovation that fulfills these criteria.
What is your solution to this problem?
Instead of aggressive chemical dissolution we offer smart physical cleaning by creating fluids with an inner movement of up to 8000 times per second, resulting in a “micro-earthquake”. This disruptive technology allows smart detaching and powerful layer lift-off.
Who are your clients?
Our target clients in microelectronic industries are high-volume customers like INTEL, PHILIPS, SAMSUNG, LG, TSMC, EPCOS, OSRAM, INNOLUX, AUO a.m.o. In maintenance intense industries our customers are companies like HEIDELBERGER DRUCK, WÜRTH, TKM, EUROPART a.m.o.
In which stage of development is your product?
We reached proof of market in facility cleaning with Graffiti Removal and also in printing industries with unique printing roll cleaners and won reputable customers in these segments. Next step is now to roll out the technology in high volume markets such as microelectronics, oil & gas and industrial maintenance globally in order to replace aggressive solvents by smart and sustainable physical cleaners.
What is your business model, how do you make money?
We sell intelligent fluids (liquid chemistry in bulk quantities) globally via distributors that have excellent market access directly to industrial volume customers. Finally the production sites will be worldwide at major spots in Asia, USA and Europe to fulfill the requests of our international target customers.
How big is the market you are addressing?
The targeted market of wet chemistry is supposed to be around 4 bn EUR in microelectronics, around 10 bn EUR in oil & gas and estimated 5 bn EUR in industrial maintenance. A final market share of at least 5 % should be realistic.
Who are your main competitors and what makes you better?
Big chemical global players such as BASF, DOW, DuPont, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Mitsui, Honeywell deliver classical solvent based chemistry. We combine eco-friendliness with performance, whereas competition can only offer performance, but may harm nature, people and equipment. Other competition may come from green cleaners, that are harmless to nature, but on the other side not performing well in industrial surroundings.
What is smartchem?
Intelligent fluids are based on a technology that creates smart chemistry which is able to replace solvents and harmful chemicals globally, mainly in huge B2B volume markets such as microelectronics, oil&Gaz and maintenance intense industries.The token named sartchem (SCM in short) stands for that smart chemistry and will be launched in a so called STO (Security Token Offering) to investors and the public. That means that the company behind, namely “ intelligent fluids GmbH” from Germany is tokenizing smart chemistry by the SCM token.
Please tell us about the smartchem (SCM) Security Token Offering?
The security token offering (STO) of intelligent fluids company (IFC) offers a profit participation right of up to 40 % and a participation in the increase of company value represented in the coin value. The STO will probably start in Q4 2019. IFC is going to raise up to 25m EUR for global growth, international production sites and market entry in microelectronics, oil & gas and maintenance intense industries. The Smartchem (SCM) Offering will also allow us to reward companies that use smart sustainable chemistry by Token donations to 10 NGOs that represent those UN sustainable development goals, which are intrinsically supported by intelligent fluids.
What are the benefits of the IFC STO for potential investors?
Investors shall mainly profit from the expected rise of token value, but will also participate significantly in future profits by a profit participation of up to 40 %. On top investors will set a remarkable eco-footprint together with us to making the world a bit better by replacing harmful chemistry worldwide. The technology of intelligent fluids and thus the SCM Token supports 10 out of 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
Why did you choose doing a STO as a means to raise funds?
Our business approach is global, therefore we would like to reach out to global investors and gaining a global brand awareness for smart chemistry. Innovative fundraising is nicely in-line with innovative technology.
How much money do you need to realize your project?
1.25m EUR will be needed for the STO project itself. Up to 24m EUR we need for building up a bigger relevant company with global production sites and demo-labs plus international presence and customer base on the one side. We will also empower and enrich our unique technology through fitting collaborations and widen our application technic experience.
Which successful entrepreneur/investor do you follow to improve your learning curve?
Manuel Silva III, former President of FLOWCHEM is a good example for us, how to grow an innovative technology company to a relevant size, being ready for a bigger exit. Also Reinhold Würth and Elon Musk are people who show how to disrupt markets.
What’s the best advice you’ve recently received?
Be passionate and convinced in what you do and try to keep up until success.
Where do you see your company in 5 years?
We will have production sites and demo labs in several countries in Asia and Europe. Relevant high-volume customers will be on board. We will have successfully entered industrial markets and applications in microelectronics, oil & gas and industrial maintenance industries in order to further approve the enormous potential for the upfollowing growth. We will have reached a significant global brand awareness of SCM and intelligent fluids as being the pioneer for smart chemistry in industries. We should have a profitable revenue of more than 10m EUR by then with a profit margin of not less than 30 %.
Thank you for the Interview!