Syl Semantics' first major capital raising was a virtuous circle.
Chief executive Sean Wilson started looking for between $500,000 and $1 million to build on the $2 million invested by the company's founders, to develop and market a more effective search and data management platform for large organisations.
Within a few months, despite the complexity of explaining what Syl did, Wilson and his colleagues had reached their lower threshold. Then word spread and Syl was invited to pitch at the Summit. That generated quite a bit of interest, but few signings, says Wilson.
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Then, just before Christmas, Wilson found out that Syl had won a large NZ Government contract, involving several agencies. "The people we were talking to were pretty primed and suddenly we had this contract; people saw the value in it and we had this flurry of interest."
Syl closed the round with $1.5 million in the bag and a list of parties who were keen to be involved in the next wave.
Since then the company has hired new salespeople and new tech staff, done a heap of marketing and invested in some badly needed infrastructure. "... We've moved past the start-up stage; we're now firmly in the growth stage."
Wilson has also launched a new product to go with its big organisation search product, called Syl Discover, which deals with information management and governance, and he has tied up several new partnerships with other providers who understand the pain organisations face when it comes to searching, managing and retrieving data.
People are finally beginning to understand that Syl is not just a clever search company, says Wilson. "Data is growing like Topsy; it's out of control. We help organisations get it back under control ... vendors are now looking at our platform technology and seeing how it could work for them, which is what we've always hoped for."