StoreHub Raises US$13.5mil pre-Series B funding to drive further F&B, retail automation in SEA
By Digital News Asia September 21, 2022
- Estimated 2mil businesses in Thailand, M’sia, Philippines to onboard still
- Platform akin to having 10 extra staff that work 24/7 with zero errors
Southeast Asian startup StoreHub, a nine year-old platform that enables restaurants and retailers to automate and grow their business, has raised US$13.5 million (RM60.7 million) in a pre-Series B fundraising round led by 500 Global with participation from existing investors Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, OSK and others.
Headquartered in Malaysia and co-founded in 2013 by Malaysian Fong Wai Hong and Chinese national Congyu Li, StoreHub started as an early pioneer of cloud-based SaaS Point of Sales (POS) systems in the region. Today, the platform powers over 15,000 paying retail and restaurant outlets in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia, and has expanded its offering to include QR-based table ordering, loyalty, automated customer engagement, and more.
“With ‘revenge travel’ and ‘revenge dining’ continuing to drive consumer behaviour in Malaysia and across the region, retail and F&B business owners are looking for ways to improve operational efficiency and maximise their revenue per customer. Our platform automates ordering, payments, and customer engagement. It’s like having 10 extra staff members that work 24/7 for you with zero error. Business owners make more money and get more time for their families, or to expand even more”, said Fong, the CEO.
For 500 Global, leading StoreHub’s round is one of the first of many “really big bets” the firm is taking in its top-performing companies. “We joined their first round in 2016, with a small US$150,000 check. Fast forward to today, we have invested more than US$10 million cumulatively on top of that,” said Khailee Ng, Managing Partner, 500 Global.
“Here in Malaysia, we have seen businesses transform themselves to adapt to the new normal. Labour shortages and more demanding and digitally-savvy consumers have increasingly impacted the industry with restaurants and Mamak eateries especially being hit hard in recent times. With this, it has become even more critical for businesses to integrate technology into their operations,” Fong added.
This rising adoption by business and especially small business is reflected in StoreHub’s growth. In the last 12 months, it has processed over 128 Million transactions worth over RM7.2 billion in Gross Transaction Volume (GTV), a 40% increase over the previous year. New paying stores coming onto the platform have also seen a 5x growth from the year before. Most of all, acquisition costs for new customers have improved to near break-even within the first month. To match the surging demand, StoreHub has been expanding its team accordingly, bringing in over 100 new hires in the last 6 months.
“Considering similar companies like Toast (NYSE:TOST) are valued at US$10.13 billion (as at 20 Sept), StoreHub already has approximately a quarter of Toast’s customer size with another estimated 2 million more potential businesses in Thailand, Malaysia, and Philippines to onboard. This in turn creates the playbook for “rest of world”. We believe StoreHub creates incredible value for so many more SMEs,” Khailee enthused
In 2021, StoreHub reached close to net profitability by growing average customer revenue throughout the pandemic. The latest funding round will be used to continue meeting demand while maintaining positive unit economics, and investing in technology innovation to deepen the value for each customer.
Since its launch, StoreHub has served a wide range of SME merchants in Malaysia alone, ranging from locally-grown multistore cafes like VCR and Nasken Coffee (a homegrown chain of cafes with 18 stores across the East Coast) to restaurants like Grub by Ahong & Friends and WoodFire.
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