Some things should be really easy and efficient.
Syncio’s CEO, Jimmy Zhong, left the consultant life to become an entrepreneur in 2015. Since then, he’s become an expert in marketplace solutions, having started two fashion marketplaces of his own, before starting Syncio - a Shopify integration that helps brands with multiple stores synchronise inventory and fulfilment.
Jimmy approached Tractor for funds to help make the product more robust and to create some buffer to put some thought into huge marketing opportunities.
The Story of Syncio
Syncio started as an internal tool at Jimmy’s previous startup, Ethical-collective, an ethical fashion marketplace. He built a plugin that would sync products and inventory in real time, across multiple stores, and invited brands to install it. In the end, it was the brands who convinced Jimmy to make Syncio into a business of its own. Launched as a side project, it was only three months until there were hundreds of customers confirming product-market fit.
The Syncio team went through the Melbourne Accelerator Program in 2018 and Startmate in 2019, but the capital on offer came with expectations that Jimmy was unsure about. With his first child on the way, the capital was attractive, but the likely demands on his time and energy from scaling up quickly and formalising a board were in conflict with Jimmy’s desire to be available to his young family. So, the Syncio team pushed on.
The time-intensive nature of raising venture capital
Some angel investment kept Syncio going until they became cash-flow positive around 2 years in. In 2020, Jimmy sought venture capital and received a term sheet that he ultimately declined. Giving equity away still didn’t feel right. While Jimmy did want some extra cash to relieve the pressure for some focused product improvement, looking for better VC terms was taking too long, so he pursued other options.
Why Syncio Chose Tractor
Jimmy was attracted to Tractor’s revenue-based finance for the quick access to what he describes as “smart money” and for the opportunity to work closely with an experienced team of advisors who were aligned to his family-first values. Even with a more competitive interest rate option available to Syncio through a standard lender, the opportunity to work with the Tractor Ventures team made the decision to apply for RBF instead, a no-brainer.
Since joining the Tractor portfolio, Syncio have received advice on hiring, customer success, and product development; and Jimmy has had enough clear air to think about a longer term strategy that may include venture capital and a secondary raise.
“I really, really resonated with the team. It has a very strong product focus. That was completely up my alley. The Tractor funding gave me a lot of confidence to pursue hiring our CTO and to move forward with our roadmap, knowing I had great support around me.”