Michelle HammondFollow on twitter www.startupsmart.com.au
Kounta snares Reckon founder as investor as it hunts $1 million
Point-of-sale start-up Kounta is aiming to raise up to $1 million from investors, having already secured Reckon founder Greg Wilkinson as an investor and board member.
Kounta, founded by Nick Cloete in July 2011, has developed a cloud-based point-of sale system compatible with any connected device, enabling merchants to run their entire store off a tablet, laptop or PC.
“The vast majority of hospitality and retail merchants around the world are stuck in the dark ages. They’re using antiquated software and hardware,” Cloete says.
“By being web-based, literally any connected device can become a Kounta POS.”
Cloete initially funded the Sydney-based business himself, managing to secure some local and international brands such as Sonoma Baking Company, GG Espresso and Mr Pretzels.
Now Kounta is looking to raise up to $1 million in its first round of funding in order to bankroll further research and development, grow Kounta’s executive team, and boost sales and marketing.
The company has secured Greg Wilkinson as an investor and board member, although the financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.
Wilkinson is the founder and former chief executive of accounting software provider Reckon, which is launching its first cloud-based product this year as it seeks to take on Xero.
According to Cloete, Wilkinson will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Kounta.
“Reckon grew from a start-up in a Sydney apartment to a leader in accounting software and an IPO on the ASX,” Cloete told StartupSmart.
Kounta is now looking for others investors of the same calibre as Wilkinson, says Cloete.
“We are looking for investors and board members like Greg who’ve done it before, learnt the hard way, and therefore can share their knowledge and experience with us,” he says.
“This also gives them a little more involvement and control in the return they see in their investment.
“We’re looking to raise funds from private investors since emerging businesses need more than just money and a great idea.
“We’re already in discussions with local and global investors who are interested in what we’re doing.
“We are also talking to VC firms but, again, want to make sure these VCs aren’t just wanting to get involved as financial investors.”
According to Wilkinson, Kounta is a disruptive force in retail and commerce, and therefore represents a “huge opportunity”.
“While online retail is booming, a huge part of the global economy still focuses on bricks-and-mortar retail and hospitality,” Wilkinson said in a statement.
“There are a number of things that can never be sold and experienced online. I look forward to being part of Kounta’s growth.
“Nick and his team have laid an incredibly solid foundation, and I’m thrilled to join the team and help them continue to disrupt the way physical storefronts interact with shoppers.”
Kounta, which has 10 staff, is looking to double its team over the next 12 months. Sales and marketing – including strategic partnerships – is also a major focus.
“We develop strategic partnerships like the one we have with PayPal around their new mobile wallet,” says Cloete.
“We also work through a growing network of professional, point-of-sale implementation partners called Kounta specialists who can provide consultation on the best setup, and training and support packages for our clients.
“We’ve already picked up quite a bit of momentum around the world, mostly in the US and the UK, mostly from word-of-mouth.”
However, Cloete insists Australia will remain a key priority for Kounta.
“We are proudly Australian and want to make sure we keep our entire R&D team here in Sydney so we can keep the quality of experience and service high,” he says.