IT / Finance
www.synapseinformation.com
  • Investment: £600,000
  • Location: Birmingham
  • May 2018

Synapse Information

Founded in 2011, Synapse Information, a leading SaaS solution provider, has established a highly successful business at Innovation Birmingham Campus, the leading technological hub for the digital and tech community in the Midlands. The company’s flagship solution, Cloud CFO, is designed for group financial consolidation and represents a breakthrough in multi-user spreadsheets. A two-time winner of the SMART award from Innovate UK, Synapse Information counts a leading UK bank and a global Swedish retailer among its blue-chip customers. Brian Donnelly, CEO and Founder, is a digital entrepreneur with an enviable track record of successfully building companies and raising USD 61 million in funding in Silicon Valley.

"It has been excellent. I have already recommended Ying De to a number of people, particularly our equity investors. You judge the process by the quality of the people that we have been able to find, and that has been great. We are happy to look at more investors from Ying De, as it is just immediate value-add for us”

THE CHALLENGE

Despite its leading position in the market, Synapse Information has set its sights on continued fast growth. The business challenge regarded how best to capitalise on its competitive edge and capture a greater volume of prospective customers for the sales pipeline from a potential customer base of 25,000 companies in the UK alone.

As Brian explained at the time: “We have been expanding in the same sector with the same product, which is fine. We just need to do this with more customers at a faster rate. The speed of expansion is a function to drive the value of the company. Also, there is a lot of room for expansion not just in Britain but around the world; maybe in China, and definitely in Australia and America.”

THE SOLUTION

Before turning to Ying De, Synapse Information was already in the final stages of successfully concluding a separate fundraising round of equity investment. However, when Brian was introduced to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa scheme as a funding vehicle for co-investment, he was intrigued by the possibility of accessing not just the funding itself but also the skills and capabilities of the investors, a unique selling point of the scheme.

Based on the specific investor profile requested by Synapse Information, Ying De carried out extensive research and matching to identify investors with the desired technical capabilities to enhance the company’s product development. As a result, Ying De successfully introduced three high quality investors under the scheme.

To boost its expansion, the company used the funding in marketing campaigns as well as hiring more experienced staff to strengthen core areas such as business development, sales and operation, a strategic move which enabled Synapse Information to expand its pipeline and accelerate growth.

THE RESULTS

Synapse have witnessed dramatic improvements in pipeline performance since the investment, and Brian is very pleased with the transformation that has certainly helped to scale up the business at a significant pace. “Our pipeline is growing very considerably,” said Brian. “The number of qualified prospects has shot up sixfold compared with what we had before, and we have numerous leads currently in the latter stages of the sales pipeline.”

Speaking of one of the investors, Brian commented: “He is an Oxford maths graduate and, despite all his degrees, he is radiantly bright when you meet him. He is just very, very smart. That helps tremendously because we only hire very bright people in the company. A super nice chap too!” The other investors, who were of a similar background, became valuable reinforcements to their engineering team as well. Together, they played a key role in strengthening the company’s ongoing product development.

Reflecting on the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa scheme, particularly on the skills that an investor brings to the company, Brian said: “It has been excellent. I have already recommended Ying De to a number of people, particularly our equity investors. You judge the process by the quality of the people that we have been able to find, and that has been great. We are happy to look at more investors from Ying De, as it is just immediate value-add for us”