SynCommerce Wins at TechCrunch BattleField Africa

Sylvana Lewin | Thursday, October 12th, 2017

We believe participating in TechCrunch can be our lampstand to shine – the exposure, the TechCrunch network, the access to investors – it’s just enormous. We intend to tap into each one of those, to our advantage.

We are excited to announce that yesterday MEST Accra Incubator company SynCommerce won the Gaming and Entertainment category at the first edition of TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa! MEST was truly well represented as MEST Managing Director Aaron Fu was also a judge for the Productivity and Utility category.

TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield is the world’s preeminent startup competition that has taken place since 2007. Previous winners include companies like Mint, Dropbox, and Yammer. This year TechCrunch partnered with Facebook to bring Startup Battlefield to Africa for the first time, holding yesterday’s competition in Nairobi, Kenya.

The competition looks for the best startups in three categories: Productivity and Utility, Social Good, and Gaming and Entertainment. SynCommerce won the Gaming and Entertainment category and were thus judged “the most likely to see wide consumer adoption and have either the biggest exit and/or impact on gaming and entertainment”.

 

SynCommerce is a cloud-based inventory and order management application that makes it easy for online merchants to manage stores across multiple sales channels, such as Shopify, eBay, Etsy, and Amazon. In the past, SynCommerce also competed in Speedup Africa 2016 and Seedstars World Accra 2016.

After the win, we spoke with CEO Christian Osei-Bonsu and here’s what he had to say!

How does it feel to have won at the first edition of TechCrunch Battlefield Africa?

Excited, really. Right from the onset, we knew the kind of competition we were getting into, and the clout that it has. So having gone a step further to win in our category comes with a lot of joy. We honestly felt our chances were slim, because of the category we were in, so eventually winning it, added to the surprise and joy. Unfortunately, we couldn’t be the overall winners, but we know the opportunities with this are still enormous, and we believe it could be another great stepping stone to reaching our vision.

How do you see this helping SynCommerce in the future?

No one lights a lamp and puts it under the basket. You put it on the lamp stand so it can shine. We believe participating in TechCrunch can be our lampstand to shine – the exposure, the TechCrunch network, the access to investors – it’s just enormous. We intend to tap into each one of those, to our advantage.

What makes SynCommerce special?

I honestly believe what makes SynCommerce so special is the team behind it. Real passionate guys, who from the very beginning have never given up on what we set out to do, and have worked tirelessly to get us this far. I strongly believe that same spirit is going to take us even further.

How did MEST help you get to this point?

I don’t want to say it all began at MEST, as it sounds a bit cliche’, but truthfully, you look at it critically, and that’s almost the case. From the training, to meeting my team, to the seed funding to start working on this idea, to the frameworks the incubator provided to be able to work on an idea like this from Accra, Ghana and serve a market in North America and Europe (receiving payments for instance).

I remember there was a question asked on stage about how we are able to circumvent the issue of unstable internet connectivity in Ghana, thereby Africa, and provide constant support to our clients – a typical example of how helpful MEST has been to a larger extent.

What are next steps for SynCommerce?

Growth. We just want to keep growing, and we know that also means putting in more hard work. Yesterday was a great win, but the celebration is almost, if not already, over. Now we have to get back to work so we can make us of all that we gained from this experience. We know we need to keep giving our merchants a super solid product, so we are going to work on that. We know we need more integrations – we are going to work on that. We know more funds will increase our chances of reaching our targets in the next three, five years, and we will keep working on that. Gentle strides.

Congratulations to the SynCommerce team and best of luck on your next steps!