Kyklo banks $8.5 million in seed funding, looks forward to big year
By Dan Miner
Buffalo Business First
Remi Ducrocq remembers scouting Buffalo last year as the Kyklo leadership team considered where to site its North American headquarters.
With live music and bars, emerging neighborhoods and sporting venues, there was a lot to be excited about. Buffalo also appealed to the company's business sense, with affordable real estate, talent and a blue-collar ethos the firm believes will be key to attracting customers.
By the time Kyklo officially chose Buffalo and Ducrocq moved here this summer, the Covid-19 pandemic had shut down those outlets of communal energy. Still, Ducrocq said, the region has quickly carved out a special place in his mind.
"I've traveled the world and lived in multiple cities," said Ducrocq, who moved here from France. "I've never found a place that was this proud but in a good way. People here want to do whatever it takes to show you how great of a place Buffalo can be. The number of people willing to help us has been awesome."
Kyklo, which set up shop in the UB Gateway Building in downtown Buffalo, offers a suite of software tools to support distributors in the electrical and automation space. Specifically, it helps those entities establish user-friendly and sophisticated e-commerce stores.
Kyklo has about 36 employees, including a team of six and growing in Buffalo. The firm's moved to Buffalo from previous headquarters in Bangkok, which remains its engineering hub.
The company recently closed an $8.5 million seed round led by Felicis Ventures and IA Ventures. The investment cash will be used to support growth along all lines, from product development to sales and marketing. The company sees the North American market as a major growth opportunity.
The pandemic has affected traditional business development and sales processes throughout the world – from conventions to in-person product demos – and Ducrocq said the company is still adjusting to the idea of scaling via videoconference. He said the new funding also gives Kyklo room to be patient with existing customers dealing with business slowdowns.
"We are now getting a lot of interest, so 2021 will be a year where we invest in as many opportunities as possible," Ducrocq said.
Ducrocq said that while Kyklo is primarily focusing on the electrical space, the firm's solution is applicable to many other industries. He said Kyklo is reaching out to Buffalo-based firms to see if they are interested in demos and partnerships.
"Any businesses in Buffalo that are thinking about how to digitize or get into the e-commerce game are welcome to reach out to us," he said. "Most folks in B2B environments need to reinvent themselves, and we can help them go from bricks-and-mortar to digital."
Kyklo is among 16 local startups to acknowledge private, growth-oriented financing this year. Others include ACV Auctions ($55 million), Squire Technologies ($34 million), Tackle.io ($7.2 million), CleanSlate ($7 million), SparkCharge ($4.3 million), Pop Biotechnologies ($3 million), CleanFiber ($2.9 million), Circuit Clinical ($2.2 million), MimiVax ($2 million), Buffalo Automation ($500,000), HELIXintel ($500,000), CloudInsyte ($300,000), BetterMynd ($250,000), Jeca Energy Bars ($120,000) and Capti Voice (undisclosed).
This article originally appeared in Buffalo Business First.