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ENTREVESTOR: Halifax's Kula Partners launches Synchrostack

After 16 years as an agency, Kula Partners of Halifax has launched a product called Synchrostack that helps manufacturers integrate the various components of their e-commerce systems.

Kula is a 15-person operation that in recent years has developed a niche for itself in web design and marketing systems for manufacturers. Most of its customers use WooCommerce, the world’s most widely deployed e-commerce solution.

“We realized if we were going to be effective with our clients, we need to be experts with one segment,” said Kula CEO Jeff White in an interview. “We decided to go all in on that segment (manufacturers) and it’s really allowed us to deepen our level of expertise and understand what these companies sell, who they sell to and how they sell it.”

Kula learned that one problem with WooCommerce is that it has difficulty synchronizing with other systems used by the manufacturers, so the Halifax company over the past year developed Synchrostack to ease the pain.

White explained that his company came to understand that many of their clients use the open-source WooCommerce plug-in, but couldn’t integrate it with the other software they were using. For example, they might use a customer relationship management tool like Salesforce, a marketing automation platform like HubSpot, as well as other software for accounting, inventory control and logistics, and a point-of-sales system for their physical stores.

About a year ago, the Kula team began to work on an interface that would let all these platforms talk to one another. White said it can produce data from an e-commerce operation so that users understand better what their clients are buying and what they’re interested in. That means that, after time, the manufacturer can divide its clients into certain groups and offer them targeted promotions based on their needs.

Kula has developed products before, mainly for individual clients, but this is the first time it has put so many resources into a single product with the goal of selling it to a range of customers.

Launched last month, Synchrostack is currently being used by three or four clients, and Kula is in talks with other agencies that are interested in selling it to their own customers.

“I’ve got meetings booked all this week and next with agencies all over the world,” said White in the interview, which took place late last month. According to the Synchrostack website, the price of the product starts at $399 per month for the silver service, up to custom pricing for large enterprise installations.

“It has a lot of potential as an application for the companies we’re talking to, and it’s not restricted to our vertical,” said White, referring to the manufacturing sector.

He added that it is too soon to discuss whether Kula will spin off Synchrostack into its own company, and his team is now just working to get it into the market as part of Kula.

Co-founded and still led by White and Carman Pirie, Kula Partners in 2015 became the first Canadian inbound marketing agency to achieve HubSpot Platinum Partner tier status.

Peter Moreira is a principal of www.Entrevestor.com, a news and data site for Atlantic Canadian startups. Entrevestor.com produces daily news reports on the Atlantic Canadian startup community. It is financed through the sale of advertising and analytic reports to clients in the private and public sectors. This support is specified whenever the name of a client appears.

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