Monday, January 8, 2018
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
A Bahamian information manager is aiming to raise $6 million for a new headquarters in west Nassau as part of a 2018 expansion that could increase staff by over one-third.
Christiaan Sawyer, Sunryse Information Management's president, confirmed to Tribune Business that the company has hired Leno Corporate Services to raise the capital from investors via a private placement. "I can confirm that is true," he replied, when contacted by this newspaper. "Sunryse is getting ready to expand. We have expanded what we are doing, and need new facilities.
"That's why we're trying to raise funds to build the new building.
"It's going to be a pretty big building; bigger than what we're currently in now. Once we have the funding in place, we hope to start construction."
Mr Sawyer declined to give specifics on Sunryse's potential new head office/warehouse location, given that "everything hinges" on a capital raising that has yet to be completed. He expressed optimism, though, that the funds would be in place within the next "three to four weeks" to enable the company to 'break ground' on construction before mid-February.
"We've already acquired the land; it's going to be on the western side of Nassau," he disclosed. "I honestly give it another three to four weeks. That's the best case estimate we have now in terms of raising capital.
"We're pretty significantly into it now, and have raised part of it. We're just waiting for a few more. All our plans have been approved, the contractor selected, and we want to make sure we have all the ducks lined up.
"We want it to run as smoothly as possible, and don't want to run into problems because of funding. I'm really hoping that by the first or second week of February we will be breaking ground. It's 2018 and we've got to keep moving."
Sunryse has evolved into a full-solution document and information management services provider, having expanded from its roots as a pure document shredder into a company able to meet all client needs in this area.
"We currently have 22 people," Mr Sawyer told Tribune Business of his staff. "Four years ago we had just seven to eight. As things have come along, we've just continued to grow.
"We do expect, within 2018, that we'll probably see at least another five to six more people - possibly as many as eight more people - come on board. We're developing some things now, and know we probably need at least eight more people."
Sunryse's website touts that its business grew by an average of 32 per cent per year during its first decade in existence, as the demand for document shredding from corporate Bahamas enabled it to expand from one mobile destruction truck to three.
"We have our roots in shredding," Mr Sawyer explained. "We have been running shredding and document destruction for 17 years.
"Over the last five to six years, we've pretty much expanded into the information space. Document shredding is one component, one business to what we have. We're managing people's information, conducting database management for clients and document imaging.
"We have a few other solutions we provide for them, but that's where we've been going. That's what we intend to be: A one-stop shop to meet customers' needs, and provide great service for whatever it is they require."
Document storage and records management are other aspects of Sunryse's business, and its services are sought by the likes of banks, accounting firms and other financial services providers who need to protect and maintain client confidentiality.
The firm's website also talks of exploring Caribbean expansion possibilities, and Mr Sawyer told Tribune Business: "We have a very simple formula for success: We meet the customer's needs, listen to their 'pain points', and provide solutions.
"We adjust and adapt, and find solutions that are very palatable to them, and they receive benefits in cost savings and efficiencies. These factors have combined into the success we've had over the last several years."
Mr Sawyer also attributed the country's growth to his employees, adding: "We really rest our business on finding good people to put in place. We always knew where we wanted to go, but every effort is dependent on the people we have in place to drive the initiative.
"We take a lot out of finding the right people and, once they're in place, we start to put out initiatives in place and are seeking the fruits of that."
Sunryse, which is now transitioning from a small to medium-sized business, has been described by some as the best 'success story' for the Government-sponsored venture capital fund in terms of the start-ups it has financed.
Mr Sawyer, though, pointed out that the company has also received financial support from the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and it remains a client of the latter today.
"It's somewhat difficult to raise capital, and get capital funding for projects, on this island from source," he told Tribune Business. "You have to knock on doors to get where you want to be."
Sunryse's $6 million capital raise is a private placement, meaning it is targeted at specific investors and members of the general public should not seek to get involved.