KUALA LUMPUR: Native tech startup StoreHub, a platform that enables restaurants and retailers to automate and grow their business, has raised $13.5 million (RM60.7 million) in a fundraising round led by 500 Global Series B gathered with the participation of existing investors Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, OSK and others.
StoreHub, co-founded by Wai Hong Fong and Congyu Ling in 2013 and headquartered in Malaysia, started out as an early pioneer of cloud-based SaaS point of sale (POS) systems in the region.
Today, the platform powers over 15,000 paying retail and restaurant businesses in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia and has expanded its offering to include QR-based table booking, loyalty, automated customer engagement and more.
“As revenge travel and revenge eating continue to drive consumer behavior in Malaysia and across the region, retail and F&B business owners are looking for ways to improve operational efficiencies and maximize their revenue per customer. Our platform automates orders, payments and customer engagement,” said StoreHub CEO and co-founder Wai Hong Fong.
She said it’s like having 10 extra staff working for you 24/7 with no errors. Business owners make more money and have more time to spend with their families or to expand even further.
“Here in Malaysia we have seen how businesses have changed to adapt to the new normal. Labor shortages and more demanding and digitally savvy consumers have increasingly impacted the industry, with restaurants and Mamak joints being particularly hard hit of late. This has made it even more important for companies to integrate technology into their operations,” added Fong.
In the past 12 months, StoreHub has processed over 128 million transactions valued at over RM7.2 billion in Gross Transaction Volume (GTV), a 40% year-on-year increase and a sign of the resurgent period. New paid stores coming to the platform have also increased fivefold compared to last year. Above all, the acquisition costs for new customers have improved to almost break even within the first month. To meet the increasing demand, StoreHub has expanded its team accordingly and hired over 100 people in the last six months.
In 2021, StoreHub achieved near-net profitability by increasing average customer sales during the pandemic. The recent round of funding will be leveraged to continue to meet demand while maintaining a positive unit economy and investing in technology innovation to deepen value for each customer.
“We entered their first round in 2016 with a small check for $150,000. To date, we have invested more than $10 million in total,” said Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Global.
“Considering similar companies to Toast are valued at $10.5 billion, StoreHub already has about a quarter the customer size of Toast, and an estimated two million more potential businesses in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines need to be onboarded go,” said Ng.
Since its launch, StoreHub has served a wide range of SME retailers in Malaysia alone, from locally grown multi-store coffee shops like VCR and Nasken Coffee (a homegrown coffee chain with 18 shops on the east coast) to restaurants like Grub by Ahong & Friends and wood fire.