Restaurant and takeaway tech specialist satisfies appetite of investors
A tech firm which specialises in providing electronic point of sale (EPOS) solutions to the food and drink market has secured a crowd-funded and private investment round of £730,000.
Edinburgh-based ePOS Hybrid allows restaurants and takeaways to streamline their payment and ordering systems without exorbitant industry standard commissions.
The firm, which is on its second seed fund, was founded by serial entrepreneur Bhas Kalangi who said: “The demand from investors for our second seed round has been overwhelming.
“We’ve attracted a lot of institutional investors who are looking to engage in negotiations despite the round being closed. The money raised will help us pave the way for a period of aggressive hyper-growth across our customer base, our revenues and also across our product innovation.”
A total of 329 backers joined the latest round bringing in £634,652 through the Crowdcube platform – much of it from repeat supporters and existing network – and a further £100,000 from an angel investor.
Andrew Gibbon, the firm’s head of growth, said “ePOS Hybrid was able to innovate and thrive throughout the pandemic, despite the hospitality industry grinding to a halt.
“We were able to achieve a very strong product market fit, and deliver the right solutions to our customers at a time where they needed them the most.
“However, outlets are still trying to recover from the effects of COVID but now face skyrocketing operational costs and staff shortages. A huge challenge is the dependence on third-party delivery platforms, who charge up to 35% commission. For many that is unsustainable.
“We’ve made it incredibly easy – and affordable – for restaurants and takeaways to roll out the kind of online presence, digital ordering, tracking, and simple payment systems that are associated with the biggest players.
“Our customers can take back control of their businesses, including when it comes to online ordering. We estimate our customers have saved at least £2.1m that would otherwise have been paid in third party commissions.”
The tech company has created a single, intuitive platform which seamlessly brings together a wide range of plug & play products including ePOS, payments, digital ordering and operations management to create a centralised management hub for food and drink businesses.
Mr Gibbon said many businesses operate multiple software systems that don’t speak to each other and added: “That means multiple dashboards, multiple datasets, unreconciled reports and extra costs.
“Our system can take away all of those headaches by delivering the same functionality through a single platform.”
One of the imminent tech breakthroughs which caught the eye of investors is the planned launch of a new enterprise version of the system – currently designed for single locations – which is focused on delivering big data and streamlining ops management for large hospitality groups across the UK.
The firm has also spent the first half of 2022 trialling its services in India, with plans for a launch in the sub-continent’s huge and largely untapped market, where there are fewer competitors.
Bhas Kalangi added: “We are more than justifying the buzz. In two years we’ve gone from being in 221 locations to almost 1000. We’ve also seen the value of transactions we process increase 20-fold in the UK, from £4.7m to almost £100m. More than 10 million consumers have used our tech to buy a drink or meal.
“With an ever-growing team and the next wave of innovation we have under development, we are perfectly positioned to grow globally, taking a bigger share of a worldwide hospitality and food service market that is worth £4.2 trillion. This investment will power that next chapter.”