QASHIER, a smart point-of-sale (POS) terminal provider, has bagged S$1.2 million in a seed funding round led by Singapore-based venture capital (VC) firm Cocoon Capital and Hardware Club - a San Francisco-based VC firm.
The startup will use the funds to expand further into South-east Asia, grow its team, and invest more in product development, it announced on Thursday.
Qashier was founded by chief executive Christopher Choo and chief technology officer Frank Zhao Liang, who met at the Singapore Antler programme in 2019.
Mr Choo is a former financial professional who previously founded a private flight-sharing platform. Meanwhile, Mr Zhao founded a location-based retail advertising startup which broadcaster Mediacorp invested in.
The startup's flagship product - Qashier Smart Terminal - is a multi-purpose device which combines a payments hub with "easy-to-use" software that has an open platform for third-party apps.
Unlike traditional POS systems which require merchants to pay up to S$10,000 upfront, Qashier's terminal starts at S$1 a day, supporting credit cards, PayNow as well as digital wallets such as PayLah! and WeChat pay.
The startup also has offerings such as Qashier App Store - which has loyalty programmes, table booking and stock management functions for a few additional dollars a month.
This allows small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to track and consolidate data across multiple applications and omnichannel platforms via the cloud, Qashier said. Merchants can also automate tasks like daily settlements and accounting.
Qashier has been pre-approved for Enterprise Singapore's Productivity Solutions Grant, which entitles SMEs to an 80 per cent discount for the firm's starter kits.
The startup's POS system has already been deployed in "hundreds of businesses", including restaurant Artichoke, ice cream chain New Zealand Natural, salon Be De Bon and premium sewing machine retailer Bernina.
Mr Choo said the current situation has pushed businesses of all sizes to embrace technology to increase margins and stay resilient.
"Yet, many SMEs have been left behind due to the high cost and complexity of adopting new technology," he said.
Michael Blakey, Cocoon Capital managing partner said there is a "huge gap" in the adoption of digital payment solutions in the offline SME retail market due to their complexity and high price points. Mr Blakey recently joined Qashier’s board of directors.
Jerry Yang, Hardware Club general partner, said: "We have invested in many great founders with software backgrounds building exciting full-stack or hardware companies. However, we have never met a team that has executed and grown recurring revenue as fast as Christopher and Frank at such an early stage and with limited capital."