Whatever type of retail business you operate, if you transact face-to-face with customers you’re going to need a point-of-sale (POS) solution.
Since being founded in 2010, New Zealand company Vend has become arguably the world’s fastest growing online POS software provider. In less than 5 years they have developed into a $100 million business, with 15,000+ customers all over the globe being served from offices in Auckland, San Francisco, Melbourne, Toronto, London and Germany.
What Is So Good About Vend?
For starters, Vend’s leading cloud based technology works on virtually any device; all you need is a web browser. Their platform is easily integrated with most existing POS hardware and popular e-commerce shopping carts (e.g. Shopify, Magento), which helps with inventory management. It is also compatible with cloud accounting platforms like Xero. Vend has an established partnership with Paypal to enable cardless / cashless transactions and is also able to support the needs of small businesses by providing a cardless loyalty program. They offer a range of monthly plans with several price points, starting from $69.
In August 2013, Vend opened new Australian headquarters in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond. This was a key step in their global expansion, with Australia having proved to be a lucrative market, with a customer base that has continued to grow strongly.
Vend has also shown marketing flair and initiative by joining forces with online retailers to participate in a series of pop-up events. This has included partnering with The Cool Hunter and, more recently, Etsy – see video link of Etsy / Vend London pop-up event.
Another point of difference is Vend University, a series of online tutorials designed to provide a step-by-step guide to establishing a successful retail business from scratch. It touches on all the key issues associated with getting a retail enterprise up and running; including market research, location, finance and important regulations. It also has an extensive resource library.
In a recent editorial, Vend Founder and CEO, Vaughn Rowsell, shared some insight for other entrepreneurs who are considering launching their own startup. His key bits of advice were:
- Think and act globally from Day One – it will be easier to scale if you plan for success from the outset.
- Ship your product fast – it doesn’t have to be perfect, but you do have to get it into the customers’ hands.
- Importance of team – surround yourself with good people…and then get out of their way and trust them to do their jobs.
- Management and good governance – really difficult to retrofit if you don’t get it right from the start.
- Go fast…and DON’T slow down! – always stay impatient; raise money and then spend that money ASAP to grow your business and maintain positive momentum, removing any roadblocks that risk slowing you down.
That’s all really sound advice.
With a driving force and principles like that, it isn’t hard to see how Vaughn’s business successfully raised $9 million in funding in it’s first couple of years of operation, before completing a further $22 million venture capital round this time last year.
Vend continues to grow from strength to strength.