Ghana’s SynCommerce plans expansion on back of revenue growth

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Ghanaian multi-channel inventory and order management platform for e-commerce companies is seeing 10 per cent month-on-month revenue growth and planning expansion into Asia.

Launched in 2012 after the co-founders met at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, SynCommerce allows online merchants to easily sell, track, and manage inventory across multiple sales channels such as Shopify, eBay, Etsy and Amazon, simultaneously.

It provides e-commerce companies with the tools that allow them to list their products, manage inventory, fulfill orders, and automatically keep their inventory levels in sync across all the channels they sell on.

Co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Christian Osei-Bonsu told Disrupt Africa the startup has had over 4,000 merchants sign up to use the system since its launch, and it is still seeing strong growth.

“Our focus is to continue working on the solution to suit the best demands of our merchants based on their feedback, and to bring on board some of other top channels requested for, that we haven’t integrated with yet,” he said.

Osei-Bonsu said SynCommerce targets small to medium sized online merchants that sell cross-platform, or want to sell cross-platform in North America and Europe. About 70 per cent of its merchants are currently in the United States (US), with the remaining 30 per cent spread across Canada, the United Kingdom (UK), and the rest of Europe.

“In the next five years, we intend to expand to Asia, which is currently leading in terms of growth in the e-commerce space. That will present us with the opportunity to integrate with some of the top performing Asian sales channels such as as Rakuten, Alibaba, and Taobao. Then, we will finally expand to Africa, where we can integrate with Jumia, Konga, and company,” he said.

The startup was created at MEST, with two of the co-founders having interned with an e-commerce startup while taking part in the programme.

“They quickly realised that a lot of merchants are already selling on multiple sales channels, and there are many who keep expanding to multiple. But this came with several challenges, chief of them being keeping everything that’s happening on all the channels they are selling on in sync,” said Osei-Bonsu.

“SynCommerce emerged from the insight that SME merchants need a solution that will allow them to automatically manage their selling processes from one place, and automatically keep their data and inventory synchronised, without switching from platform to platform.”

There are various inventory management platforms in the space, but Osei-Bonsu believes SynCommerce stands apart.

“Brightpearl only optimises for large businesses. Sellbrite is an asynchronous tracking platform, that distributes updates, but does not manage inbound product changes from various sales channels. And Stitchlabs’ tracking structure is inconsistent with a merchant’s experiences on sales channels,” he said.

SynCommerce itself provides an affordable and optimised solution for small businesses, with real-time, multi-directional syncing of product data, and the ability to customise which products data to synchronise.

“These we believe strongly, will help us provide merchants with the best of inventory management solutions, and continue to set us apart from our competition,” Osei-Bonsu said.

The startup – which raised seed funding from MEST in 2014 – employs a subscription model. Merchants have 14 days to try the app when they sign up, after which they have to upgrade to one of SynCommerce’s three tiered pricing plans to continue using the system.

“The good news is, we are currently cash-flow positive. But that also comes with it’s own challenge, which is growth. We want more, and that’s what we are working towards,” Osei-Bonsu said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent’s most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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