Syncron, a Stockholm-headquartered company that offers a SaaS to help equipment and other product manufacturers move to a service model, has raised $67 million, its first ever funding round despite being over 15 years old. Leading the round is growth equity firm Summit Partners, while a source close to Syncron pegs the post-money valuation at $175 million.
Tapping into the growing “servitization” trend — that is, offering a product as a service or a subscription — Syncron’s SaaS grew out of the company’s original consultancy offering and is designed to solve issues around post-sales support offered by equipment manufacturers targeting various heavy industry.
For example, when heavy equipment breaks down –- think tractors, bulldozers and dump trucks -– it can stall a multimillion-dollar project. To help mitigate this, Syncron uses AI to enable equipment manufacturers to predict when machine parts will fail and need to be replaced — a shift from the traditional “when it breaks, then I’ll fix it” model.
“There is currently a gap between customers’ increasing demand for maximized product uptime and manufacturers’ ability to deliver it,” explains Syncron CEO Anders Gruden in an email. “For decades, manufacturers have been focused on repair execution (repairing a product after it has already broken down), but today’s customers want products that work all the time.
“As consumers, we are all familiar with subscription-based businesses like Netflix, Spotify and more. This shift -– where customers pay for access and output as opposed for a product itself -– is known as servitization. This mindset has carried over into manufacturing and means products need to be up and running and accessible at all times”.
Specifically, Syncron’s tech reads IoT sensor data on equipment and parts to analyse their lifetime and suggest replacement, inventory restocking, and price for replacement parts. In other words, Syncron makes IoT data actionable.
“Manufacturers are turning to Syncron to help in the shift to servitization, which requires maximized product uptime,” explains Gruden. “As more products are equipped with smart sensors, it is more important than ever to shift from a reactive, break-fix service model to one focused on maximizing product uptime, or preemptively repairing equipment before it ever fails. The best way to achieve this is to leverage sensor-based IoT data to ensure parts are pre-emptively replaced before they fail – and this is where Syncron and our solutions come in”.
The strategy appears to be working, too, given today’s growth funding and the list of companies as customers Syncron boasts, which span various manufacturers that make heavy machines and equipment, everything from industrial and agricultural equipment to mining and construction, automotive, aerospace, energy and utilities, and more. They include ABB, Atlas Copco, BAE, Brother, CLAAS, Electrolux, Hitachi, JCB, Manitowoc, Mazda, Motor Coach Industries, Perkins, Renault, Siemens, and Terex.