Last month, we wrote about how Jessyfrup is creating a point-of-sale (PoS) app for businesses in Taiwan to increase customer retention. This month, an interesting startup in a similar space has popped up on our radar.
Restograph is a new Philippines-based business intelligence Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that helps restaurant owners store and analyse their legacy and offline PoS data to create actionable insights to increase sales.
That may sound like a mouthful, but it’s a space increasingly being eyed by startups in Asia. Offering ways for offline businesses to boost performance in the digital age presents a big opportunity, and should be considered just as important as the analytics and tracking software behind all good websites.
“Restograph grabs your PoS data, translates that into something useful and delivers it in such a way that it’s easy to understand…we built it out for two months late last year,” Brian Dimarucot, Co-founder, Restograph told e27.
Rene Lacerte, CEO and Founder of Bill.com summed up the problem with the industry succinctly:
While consumers have a slew of digital technologies to help manage nearly every aspect of their finances, businesses still depend on manual paper-based processes to perform the most basic business functions.
The bootstrapped team soft-launched during the second week of January this year. Dimarucot has been in the software and web development business since 2009, and owns a small development studio.
Other Co-founders include a former Country Manager of Philippines Airlines (PAL), who is now a consultant with San Migul. Another is a corporate lawyer for clients such as Microsoft, and the final Co-founder, besides Dimarucot, comes from a banking background doing financial analytics for Visa and MasterCard.
“I co-own a restaurant myself, and the four of us co-own another restaurant. So we have that background. Right now we’re really focussing on restaurants,” said Dimarucot.
Over the longer term, Restograph could move beyond the restaurant niche. But currently it is still early days.
“In Asia, compared to the US and Europe, I think there are a lot of available cloud-based PoS systems. I think for emerging markets, it’s not that readily available yet. In the Philippines, there are [only] a couple of PoS systems with cloud-based interfaces,” Dimarucot said.
The team has not yet crunched numbers on potential market size, but is leaning towards a US$60,000 seed round to build the 18-month runway. This will involve hiring more engineers and refining the platform.
The Philippines ecosystem has really picked up over the past two or three years. Events like Geeks on a Beach have brought in a lot of pitching and investment opportunities.
“The ecosystem in the Philippines is seeing a lot of potential for growth, and I’m sure this year will be even better than last year,” he said. Restaurant owners that Dimarucot spoke to are also confident of a good year ahead for business.
The Philippines is notably Asia’s second-fastest growing economy after China, recording 6.1 per cent growth in 2014 following three quarters of decline.
Restograph is currently looking for 10 trial clients, with the goal of securing 30 paying clients by mid year. It is offering one package at launch at about US$35 per month.
Challenges include a lack of cheap and fast broadband Internet, and the fact that many restaurants are still hesitant to adopt new technologies. Meanwhile, opportunities include the accelerating economy and an all-round burgeoning startup ecosystem.
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