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Syncari raises $17.3M for automated cloud data sync

Data synchronization vendor is looking to solve the challenge of keeping data updated and automated across multiple cloud systems in a unified data model.

Cloud data management startup Syncari said it has raised $17.3 million in a Series A round of funding led by Crosslink Capital.

Based in San Francisco, Syncari fits into the DataOps space with a cloud data automation platform that enables users to integrate and synchronize data across different applications. The vendor's core technology enables data synchronization (data sync) in a multi-directional approach such that data can be updated across different applications in an automated data pipeline.

Syncari was founded in 2019 by Neelesh Shastry and Nick Bonfiglio, both former executives from marketing automation platform vendor Marketo, which is now owned by Adobe.

In this Q&A, Bonfiglio, CEO and co-founder of Syncari, discusses the challenges of automated cloud data management and where his data sync startup is headed.

The financing round was made public Tuesday.

Nick Bonfiglio, co-founder and CTO, SyncariNick Bonfiglio

Why did you help start Syncari, and what is the data sync/DataOps problem you aim to solve?

Nick Bonfiglio: I was a VP of product at Marketo for seven years, and we developed a stable data sync engine between Marketo and Salesforce that allowed marketing and sales operations to integrate those two systems and keep those systems congruent throughout the process. It was there that we started seeing people wanting to do basic data automation.

Fast forward a few years, and I had lunch in January 2019 with a CFO friend who was sitting on three boards and was complaining bitterly. He said that he goes to board meetings and marketing has got a set of numbers with a certain flair to them that don't match what sales numbers are, that don't match with what finance's numbers are. He told me that all three of the company boards he sits on have the same exact problem, and so it's sort of like intrigued me to figure out what was going on.

When I started peeling that onion back, what I realized is that really everybody was still focused on integration, and nobody was really focused on interoperability. That's the ability to make your entire tech stack operate as one unified system, that's the thing that we saw that was missing in the data ecosystems.

What we did at Syncari is we invented this multi-directional data sync engine, that is largely based on some key learnings that we have from Marketo. Now we've got the ability to do fully stateful data synchronization with transformations in all directions.

Why raise a Series A for Syncari data sync now?

Two years ago, this company was just a couple of PowerPoint slides. We built the first product in a year and got it to market. Now we're in year two, we have been selling and we've gotten to some revenue goals.

I was feeling like the entire team was stretched, customers were asking for more and more things, and we were growing. So the only way to fix that is either to spend the rest of the money you have, or to get new money to grow. This is really around about capturing the growth capabilities that I think are in front of us.

What's the difference between master data management (MDM) and the DataOps/data sync model that Syncari offers?

With Syncari, the golden record is in all your systems at all times; it's not just in your MDM systems. With MDMs, they typically have a hard time getting the data back into the operational systems in a highly resilient way.

So this ability to have stable synchronization across all the connected systems is the thing that's different than what came before.

What do you see as key challenges that faces organizations for data synchronization?

The key thing we see is that everybody has a fiefdom. In other words, the marketing operations person handles the marketing system and doesn't really care or connect with the sales or finance operations. People tend to end up working in a siloed operating model, as they haven't really thought about having all the systems working together as one.

Overcoming that siloed mentality that continues to permeate every organization is a challenge, and understanding that you don't have to operate in silos anymore, you can operate as a unified team. 

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