Operaize receives €1.5 million in seed capital to increase production efficiency and sustainability by leveraging AI

November 18, 2021

Cologne, November, 18th 2021 – Cologne-based start-up Operaize has successfully closed a seed financing round with three investors: High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), Fraunhofer Technologie-Transfer Fonds (FTTF) and NRW.BANK invest a total of 1.5 million euros in Operaize to accelerate the development of the AI-based product, drive the product market fit and to acquire new customers.

Operaize provides AI-based production planning that enables manufacturers to better manage the increasing complexity in their production and improve their overall planning quality significantly.

Many manufacturers are faced with the increasing complexity and uncertainty of global production networks, which is becoming more and more difficult to manage. AI powered production planning and control methods are able to deal much better with this challenge than conventional production planning software.

Franz Felsmann, Co-founder and CEO of Operaize

Operaize Cognitive Operations© significantly increases effectiveness and sustainability for manufacturers with Operaize’s next generation AI-powered production planning and scheduling solution. The solution is shaped by combining AI-based production planning knowledge representation, analytics and optimization methods enabling high quality planning and decision making in real time.

With Operaize, we address the core challenges of manufacturing companies to increase effectiveness and sustainability in production and thus strengthen business success while also addressing climate change.”

Franz Felsmann, Co-founder and CEO of Operaize

HTGF and FTTF are leading investors specialized in financing and supporting high-tech start-ups. As the state bank of North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW.BANK supports innovative and technology-driven start-ups that have a specific connection to North Rhine-Westphalia.

Operaize is the company that eliminates the remaining manual planning in the area of complex production planning. Complex production planning can now be optimized 100% software and AI based for the first time. We are therefore very pleased to be part of this success story.

Andreas Olmes, Principal at High-Tech Gründerfonds

We were involved as pre-seed investor from the very beginning and have worked very closely with the team since then. Therefore, we are now very pleased that Operaize has developed in such a positive way to attract seed venture capital.

Johann Siemes, Managing Director at FTTF

Production processes are becoming increasingly complex. The right software solution can help companies maintain an overview and thus increase productivity as well as sustainability. This is precisely the market need that Operaize addresses, which is why we are happy to support the start-up with seed capital.

Michael Stölting, Member of the Managing Board of NRW.BANK

About Operaize
Operaize is a Cologne-based AI startup specialized on AI-powered optimization of production planning & control. Operaize was founded in January 2020 by experienced industry managers with background in software & consulting businesses. Operaize develops together with leading Fraunhofer-institutes groundbreaking AI-technologies based on scientific breakthroughs and could already demonstrate in the chemical and food industries significant increases in effectiveness und in improved sustainability. Operaize currently employs 13 software developers and marketing experts and plans to grow with new customers and partners.


Alexander Kouril, Co-founder and CEO
Gürzenichstraße 27
50667 Köln

About Fraunhofer Technologie-Transfer Fonds (FTTF)
The Fraunhofer Technology Transfer Fund (FTTF) is an independent venture capital investor for young deep tech companies of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the first technology transfer fund in Germany. With a fund volume of EUR 60 million, FTTF finances start-ups in very early phases and is able to invest up to EUR 5 million per company. FTTF’s investors are Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the European Investment Fund (EIF). Since its launch in 2019, FTTF has invested in 24 start-ups pursuing innovative business models in a wide range of technology areas.


Fraunhofer Technologie-Transfer Fonds (FTTF)
Kaufingerstr. 24
80331 München
Johann Siemes, Managing Director

NRW.BANK is the promotional bank of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its mission is to support its owner – the state of North Rhine-Westphalia – in the completion of its structural and economic policy tasks. In its three fields of promotion “Economic Development”, “Housing Promotion” and “Infrastructure/Municipal Promotion”, NRW.BANK uses a wide range of promotion tools – from low-interest promotion loans to equity finance to advisory services. It cooperates with all banks and savings banks based in NRW on a competition-neutral basis. NRW.BANK takes into account the existing offers by the Federal Government, the North Rhine-Westphalian government and the European Union in the arrangement of its promotion.


Caroline Gesatzki
Kavalleriestraße 22
40213 Düsseldorf
Tel.: + 49 211 91741-1847
Mobil: + 49 151 15179261

About High-Tech Gründerfonds

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven start-ups. With around EUR 900 million in total investment volume across three funds and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge more than 650 start-ups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and startup experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups in the fields of digital tech, industrial technology, life sciences, chemistry and related business areas. To date, external investors have injected more than EUR 3.5 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,800 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 140 companies.

Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy, KfW Capital, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the companies ALTANA, BASF, BAYER, B.Braun, Boehringer Ingelheim, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Post DHL, Dräger, 1+1 AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, FOND OF, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG.


Media contact
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Stefanie Grüter, Head of Marketing & Communications
T.: +49 228 82300 – 188

Investor Contact
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Andreas Olmes, Principal
T. +49 160 90 370 779

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