The Indian retail market is valued at $100 billion, for a sector that is growing at a great pace, the biggest problem seems to be that customers do not have the time to stand in queue for an average time of 15 minutes after the purchase to get billed and be on their way home. A Bangalore based startup is changing all that with a smart mix of technology and platform independent app solutions – Perpule. Let us talk about their solution today.
Perpule is a Bengaluru-based retail tech startup which received their first ever external funding by Kalaari capital in the year 2016. Since then, they have zoomed from 1 store to 100+ stores and 0 cafeteria to multiple cafeterias, including Indian IT giant, Infosys. At the heart of their rapid growth is the fact that they have a form-factor free and device free solution that can help both the customers and the retailers achieve greater optimization of their experience. They have recently been funded by Prime Venture Partners too.
They recently announced the launch of their next-gen Point of Sale (POS) billing solution called UltraPOS. This solution is a platform independent, form factor independent POS billing system, which can enable anytime, anywhere billing. It is a cloud-based SaaS product that eliminates the need of bulky servers and computers in the store. UltraPOS will enable offline stores to reduce billing counter size by up to 40% and help increase sales and revenue through an AI/data-driven approach to dynamic offers, cross-sell and upsell. It is currently being used by popular retail brands such as Big Bazaar, Foodhall and many more.
The retail-tech startup was founded in October 2016 by Abhinav Pathak, Saketh BSV and Yogesh Ghaturle. In 2018, Perpule raised $4.7 million in Series A from Prime Venture Partners, Kalaari Capital and Venture Highway.
UltraPOS can make traditional billing systems look pedestrian with useful and futuristic features such as analytics, inventory and staff management tools. Retailers can update product prices, stocks, offers, etc. consistently across platforms. The cloud-based solution seamlessly works well both in online as well as offline modes which is perfect for India where last mile connectivity is still a considerable challenge. This solution also gives omni-channel players an advantage where they can manage orders and inventory for both e-commerce as well in-store sales from the store itself. And this can be done even intra-day. The UltraPOS solution can work with multiple devices such as handhelds, mobile, desktop and tablets. It allows cashiers to scan barcodes, generate receipts and accept payments without any hassle. Retailers also have the option to go for the accompanying hardware (a handheld device) at no additional cost and a flexible monthly rental fee. Retailers can also opt UltraPOS for their existing infrastructure or try out a combination of both handheld and traditional billing modules. There is also the option of self checkout kiosks where the customers can self serve themselves. Overall, this solution makes the traditional POS look like a stone age relic. The various AI and analytics enabled features simplify life immensely for both retailers and buyers alike.
In India, a very major challenge for retailers is that the display area is limited and they constantly see suboptimal customer flow. UltraPOS solves this quandary by reducing the size of billing counters, allowing more space for the retailer to showcase merchandise and increase footfall. Due to the mobile nature of the device, retailers can save significantly on IT capex, opex and manpower costs. Retailers will be able to get roughly 50% reduction in POS technology spend (eg. store server, computer, printer, scanner, EDC/payment, networking, etc.) and approximately 95% reduction in paper saved from digital receipts. This makes a lot of business sense for the retailer.
As India is poised to leapfrog into a fully digital age where AI and analytics are going to make operations and lives smoother. Perpule has an early movers advantage in the retail space. and in my opinion, Prime’s history of backing solid and credible solutions is true with this venture too. I will be watching them with a keen interest to see what they do next.