Metal marketplace grinds to a halt

MetalSpectrum LLC this week became the latest marketplace to announce it was closing operations, joining the likes of PetroCosm Corp., FreightWise Inc. and dozens of others.

MetalSpectrum, a marketplace for specialty metals such as aluminum, stainless steel and brass, closed its doors immediately, claiming there wasn't enough user acceptance. MetalSpectrum launched in May 2000 and was later led by Alan Turfe, who left his role as co-CEO of Covisint LLC, an online auto marketplace. Its investors included Kaiser Aluminum Corp. and Alcoa Inc., which initially pumped in approximately US$40 million. At its peak, MetalSpectrum had more than 80 employees.

And MetalSpectrum wasn't the only metal marketplace to announce its demise. Earlier this month, MetalSite suspended operations in the wake of a cash shortage. Equity partners in MetalSite, one of the first metal marketplaces, included LTV Steel and Weirton Steel.

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