Syrup Tech Raises $6.3M for Developing Sweet Inventory Planning Software – TechCrunch

Knowing how much and what type of inventory your brand needs requires a complex web of data, which businesses often use to stay current with spreadsheets or legacy systems that don’t provide a complete picture of the business.

Syrup Tech, now armed with $6.3 million in new funding, pulls in all of this data like transactions, marketing, and inventory and combines it with other data like social media trends and even the weather to create spit out predictive inventory recommendations using artificial intelligence and machine learning. This way merchandisers and planners have better information about what they need and can reduce some of the waste.

“I was previously at McKinsey and was shocked to see merchandisers spending hours on spreadsheets,” James Theuerkauf, co-founder and CEO of Syrup Tech, told TechCrunch. “My thought was to let the AI ​​do the math with the numbers and let the merchandiser make the creative decisions, with the AI ​​serving as a support.”

Theuerkauf explained that forecasting stock levels has become more difficult, especially as brands struggle with stock-outs, which causes them to overcompensate by back-ordering. This can lead to excess inventory and the need for markdowns, which is something we’ve recently had to do at both Walmart and Target to clear their inventory. All of this excess often ends up in landfills.

Inventory Management by Syrup Tech

Inventory Management Dashboard by Syrup Tech. Photo credit: syrup tech

Supply chain issues are also threatening inventory management, and Syrup Tech is working to provide recommendations sooner rather than later. So if the wait is 40 days, merchandisers should place their orders now, or if the wait is 10 days, they can postpone those decisions.

He says Syrup Tech’s customers (it currently operates eight) are seeing double-digit increases in profit margins through reductions in stock-outs, reductions in overstock and waste, and time savings through the elimination of manual workflows.

“The global supply chain is a bit of a ‘blessing’ as now stock levels are in the spotlight, there is a lot of interest to find out and a move from other legacy systems to modern systems,” added Theuerkauf.

In fact, the fully remote company began work on its artificial intelligence-based predictive SaaS tool in 2020 and operates in a sector where other inventory-focused companies have recently attracted venture capital, including Zippedi and Inventa.

What sets Syrup Tech apart from others, according to Theuerkauf, is its approach of combining strong predictive measures powered by AI that fit into merchandisers’ workflow. He believes that no one before his company found out.

Meanwhile, sales are up 14x over the past 12 months and 2.5x since early 2022, Theuerkauf said. As mentioned, the company is currently working with eight clients, mostly in the fashion footwear space, and has a waiting list of five more.

The company closed its funding round in June, raising total funding of $7.3 million. Gradient Ventures, or GV, led the latest round, which included Flybridge Capital, Firstminute Capital, Rackhouse Ventures, and a group of angel investments by former executives from Adidas, Bonobos, Salesforce, ASOS, ThredUp, Zalando, and Stripe. 1984 Ventures, which led Syrup Tech’s pre-seed round last year, also invested.

Theuerkauf plans to use most of the funds to increase the 14-strong workforce. He also deals with product development and adding more use cases. The company has primarily been looking at seasonal goods, but will now move up the pipeline to focus on sourcing and production recommendations.

The new financing also puts the company “in a solid position for the next few years,” he added.

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