How to Identify Your Next Business Opportunity
BY Tim Rice
As the co-founder of a Brooklyn gourmet food and wine shop, Jason Richelson knows first-hand the shortcomings of cash register software. So in August 2008 he invented a new one, ShopKeep Register, that runs on the iPad. He now has nearly 1,000 customers and last month raised $2.2 million in financing.
Turning Retail Experience into a Service for Retailers
Jason Richelson used his retail experience to create a point of sale system and iPad app that simplifies the lives of other retailers and aims to take over the fragmented point of sale market.
00:00 Jason Richelson: My name is Jason Richelson. I am co-founder and CEO of ShopKeep.com, which is a point of sale system in the cloud, which helps retailers make smarter business decisions. I'm a co-founder here in Brooklyn of a grocery store and a wine store that I opened with my partner, Amy Bennett about seven, eight years ago in Fort Greene and we had a point of sale system from a competitor, a large software company, and eventually then, we started having technology problems. So the database we were using got full. And we had to upgrade it, but it stopped working in the middle of the day. It dawned on me that after fixing these things and just trouble... Not even troubleshooting, fire fighting all these problems. It was like you know what? We've gotta switch to a cloud point of sale. So I did a little searching in 2008 for a cloud point of sale, and I didn't find any. I asked Amy in like, I think we should start this company. She's like, "Let's do it.", and we did. In August, we finally got the app store around August 5th, with what we currently have is the ShopKeep register.
01:03 Jason Richelson: As we've grown as a company with more employees, me just understanding what retailers need, and being able to talk to them has been a big help for this company. And being able to communicate that down to the engineers who don't necessarily know what a retailer does on a daily basis. So when the engineers came up with a way to do inventory, I was like, "Guys, when you do inventory, you start on the left and you count all the way to the right". So you have this sphere here and you need to find it. And you can't find it on a piece of paper and you can't... You have to look it up. You have to be able to be able to quickly find it by search, type in the amount, go to the next one, type in the amount, and work left to right. Then you're going to find one bottle over here that was with this one, and you need to be able to quickly and easily add that to the count. I've counted inventory in our grocery store and our wine store. That kind of experience really comes in... In ShopKeep, in everything we do. Like the simplest, easiest and quickest way to do it, and also with the best design. It needs to be pleasing to the eye and work and work fast. So that was super important to us including how we manage the transactions, manage the printing, we just make sure everything runs really, really fast so that you can ring up sales super fast.
02:14 Jason Richelson: So when I look at other apps in the app store that compete with us, I'm just like, these guys have never stood behind a register. They just don't get it. They don't understand what retailers wanna see, what numbers they wanna see, where they wanna see them, how they wanna see them? And I do. So when a retailer actually trial ShopKeep, their like, "Oh I get this, this is what I'm looking for."