Syl Semantics, a natural language-based search technology provider, is looking to enter the US market by early next year.
“At an appropriate time we will appoint a US board member, someone who has been in the target ecosystem, who knows the ropes and who can introduce us to others in the ecosystem to come and work for us. And we hope to be making that entry into the US early next year, in which time we will be appointing in-country sales and support,” says Sean Wilson, CEO at Syl.
The company has been making forays into the market and testing response for some time now. This includes not just visits by Wilson to the US to understand the way businesses buy and use solutions, but also support from chairman of the Syl board and MD at Kiwi Landing Pad (KLP), John Holt, and two other expat Kiwis who have experience in running businesses in the States.
“You can't hope to learn it all as you go. You really have to have the right team on board. We are currently restructuring our board. We have had a fantastic establishment board. We have gone through the first phase and we are gearing for growth.
“We have gone through two capital raises, which have both been over-subscribed, and now we are going for a more substantial capital raise, which will help us to accelerate that growth.
“We are at the stage now where capital is the constraint to growth. It is time now to put more sales and marketing in place and grow the team that will support that growth,” says Wilson.
The company is aiming for double of the $2 million that they raised in the last funding initiative. Though a lot of people have suggested a stock exchange listing, the company will not be initiating the process this time over, according to Wilson.
Wilson adds that the firm has had enormous success with its Syl Search solution in government agencies, and is seeing traction for its newer Syl Discover solution. The firm is also working on an e-Discover solution that is expected to take shape into a viable product in the next four months.
“We consider NZ an incubator. We talk to multi-nationals and see if they can see value in what Syl does. For us it is about establishing relationships with two or three of those multinational vendors as fast as we can. Where they see our products go, and how they perceive value for customers and their solutions is hugely important to us. We do have a roadmap, but that might shift based on the shape of the demand that we get,” says Wilson.Read more: Movements: Murray Young, John Holt, Kalman Bekesi
The company has been working in partnership with Datacom for around 18 months by which the latter provides implementation, support and value-added services based on Syl’s solutions. Wilson says the firm has profited by the partnership, and says it will use Datacom’s strength in Australia to enter the market, and consider other global entry points such as Malaysia.