We’ve all been there – you arrive at a store with a particular item in mind only to find it’s out of stock. Or perhaps the item is there, but they have none in your size. It’s a terrible consumer experience and one shown to substantially degrade brand loyalty. Not only is it bad for consumers, it’s terrible for the brand’s bottom line. For brands and retailers, missing out on that full-price sale hurts overall revenue and margins, as does marking down the excess inventory. If it’s so bad for everyone involved, why does it happen so often? 

Turns out inventory optimization is incredibly complex – it’s one of the persistent strategic jobs to be done in retail. This is not a new challenge, but it is one that has gotten harder in recent years. Supply chain disruptions have revealed systemic fragility that led to an era of whiplash from inventory scarcity to inventory glut. In parallel, consumer expectations have only risen. Omnichannel brands now have to predict demand across a multitude of dimensions to fulfill across their DTC and brick-and-mortar efforts. New brands have come onto the stage operating as data companies, more efficiently adjusting to fast-changing consumer behavior. Facing these heightened demands, industry leaders are seeking new technology solutions that are better equipped for the increasingly complex businesses they are operating. 

It’s against this backdrop that we were thrilled to meet the team at Syrup. When I first met the founders earlier this year, we connected around our shared appreciation for the inventory challenge – its complexity, but also its promise as a lever for improving both business outcomes and consumer experience. Before Accel, I had observed just how important and hard inventory management is while working at Faire. The cofounders James Theuerkauf and Ferdi Stockmann also had a first-hand understanding of the commerce ecosystem, with years of experience in supply chain management and optimization. Having deeply studied the space they were clear-eyed on the solution that should exist and well on their way in building towards that vision. Their value proposition is simple and compelling: Syrup helps brands achieve higher revenue while lowering the on-hand inventory required. 

Their platform uses AI to optimize planning, buying, and inventory allocations; to do things like help brands to reallocate inventory within season. They have compelling success stories with cutting-edge retail leaders like Faherty, Desigual, and Reformation. With early customers seeing results as compelling as a 46% improvement in forecast accuracy, it’s no surprise their growth is accelerating. In addition to benefiting consumers and brands, this magnitude of results can improve the environmental impact of the sector by dramatically reducing waste. 

For much of the market, a new set of tools is welcome and overdue. The Syrup team is reimagining the tools that drive the most critical workflows for brands and retailers – applying cutting edge technology to solve evergreen challenges better than ever before. It’s a team and mission that we couldn’t be more excited to be supporting and formally welcoming into the Accel Family.