Sienna awarded capital boost

Sienna awarded capital boost

B2B e-commerce software developer Sienna Technologies has wowed a second venture capital (VC) firm this year, securing $2.5 million in equity from Nanyang Ventures.

However, the lobbying process has been anything but smooth sailing for the e-commerce software specialist, whose credentials include e-business integration projects for seven major banks in Singapore, and local clients like the Commonwealth Bank and Optus.

"We approached VC funding with a bit of scepticism. They tell you they're going to add value, but the learning curve which some firms had of our business and the market issues we faced was too steep," Robert Byrne, the company CEO said.

The major difficulty Sienna faced in convincing the top end of town it should be part of the 1 per cent statistic worthy of VC dollars, lay in pitching a viable business plan. According to Byrne, Sienna could not secure VC dollars on a direct sales business model alone, therefore rejigging Sienna's "value proposition" to reseller model.

"The proposition is that there is now a platform for [the channel] to use our technology as a basis for every e-business solution, rapidly and less expensively," said Byrne. "The reseller model is key to us globally going forward."

A pure channel model would lend Sienna a competitive edge in the face of VC scrutiny, he added. By proposing to work with reseller partners, Sienna could offer value-added products to solution providers and ISVs from the channel, Byrne said.

While he would not elaborate on new channel partnerships, he said they would bring Sienna back into the black within the next fiscal year, generating $6 million in profit over this period.

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