That’s how you check out: a quick check of Inventorum, Locafox, and Orderbird
Checkout systems used to be complicated and expensive. These three start-ups are helping shop owners focus on their core business.
There are about 2.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany, according to the Federal Statistical Office. The best way to bring them into the digital world is to start at the checkout. Nowadays, there is an almost unbelievable number of vendors – from old-school manufacturers with their complex systems, which were developed for big chains, through to countless small suppliers of pure checkout software, through to start-ups, which offer iPad-based systems. No one has cracked the market so far.
Everyone has to deal with normal everyday problems: “It starts with having a checkout, so taking money and managing cash. What do I do with tips? What do I do with credit card statements and the service fee?” says Marco Boerries, who is developing an entire suite for small and medium-sized companies with Enfore.
Enfore also recommends other providers to small entrepreneurs, who would rather focus on their business than worry about technology. With Inventorum, Locafox, and Oderbird, we present three widely used systems:
As the name implies, Christoph Brem was initially concerned about building a stock management system for retailers. However, this resulted in a more comprehensive platform, a kind of digital cockpit for the retailer on the iPad. The solution includes a cash desk system, merchandise management, online shop, eBay connection, preparatory accounting, and customer administration. The team in Berlin has now grown to 45 people. Customers are owner-managed fashion shops, pet shops, furniture and décor shops, hairdressers, vaping and pop-up shops. “According to our estimates, around 600 million products are slumbering in 465,000 stores. This is four times as much as on Amazon.de. Nobody knows where these products are, at what price, and whether the products are available – this is precisely where we are targeting our solution,” says Christoph Brem. In addition to the iPad, Inventorum offers other hardware scanners, a cash drawer, and a receipt printer, as a reseller. In the DACH region, Inventorum already has 1300 customers.
FOUNDER: Christoph Brem and Michael Brehm
Originally, Locafox started as an online market place for bricks-and-mortar retailers. Since then, the start-up has expanded its offer, and developed services and tools to help local retailers remain competitive in the digital world. “With Locafox, we want to preserve diversity in our inner cities and help traders connect their bricks-and-mortar business to the Internet successfully, in order to bring online customers back to the store,” says CEO Josef Seilern. Users of the marketplace can buy products in stores near them and have the goods delivered on the same day. The Tablet POS system Locafox POS is based on Android. It is a cash register, merchandise management, electronic cash book, and e-commerce solution in one, and it offers a connection to the market place. More than 50 employees from 18 different countries work for Locafox in Berlin-Kreuzberg as well as in the branch office in Cape Town (South Africa). Locafox is financed by HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and the German Printing and Publishing Society, among others.
FOUNDER: Karl Josef Seilern, Fabian Friede, Lukas Zels, Michael Wendt, and Rob Morgan
Orderbird has developed its checking system on iOS as a software-as-a-service especially for the catering trade. The aim of the founders was to offer a checkout solution that is affordable and intuitive for restaurants, cafés, bars, clubs, ice cream parlours, and beer gardens, and that adapts to the needs of modern gastronomy. The start-up now employs more than 140 people at the Berlin office. The company reports that it is acquiring more than 300 new customers per month and now has a customer base of more than 7500 customers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, as well as in Great Britain and Ireland. Orderbird has also been active in France since 2016, and will reach Spain in 2017. Last year, Orderbird completed a Series C financing round of over 20 million euros. Investors include Digital + Partners, Metro Group, and the payment service provider Concardis. With the strategic partners and the fresh capital, the start-up wants to push forward product development and its expansion into the European market.
FOUNDER: Bastian Schmidtke, Jakob Schreyer, Artur Hasselbach, and Patrick Brienen
Images: Inventorum, Locafox, Orderbird
Guest contribution: Corinna Visser of Berlin Valley