Hospitality tech firm ePOS Hybrid harnesses strong investor appetite with target-smashing fundraise

Hospitality tech company ePOS Hybrid has raised almost £750,000 in its latest funding round, exceeding its original target by 50 per cent, and saying the sum raised will power its next chapter as it eyes a larger slice of a multi-trillion-pound global market.

The tech firm, which has its HQ in Edinburgh, raised £730,000 in a second seed fund round, saying this came after accelerated growth despite challenging market conditions, and having set out to raise £500,000 – although it later outlined a £2 million target. It added that a total of 329 backers joined the latest round, bringing in £634,652 through the Crowdcube platform – much of it from repeat supporters and its existing network – and a further £100,000 from an angel investor.

The tech company says it has created a single, intuitive platform that unites “plug and play” products including electronic point of sale, payments, digital ordering and operations management to create a centralised management hub for food and drink businesses.

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It also says it offers a totally automated onboarding process, which means any business can deploy the system to start taking orders within hours, and its point-of-sale capabilities have been enhanced to easily take in-person and remote payments, with new ordering capabilities including QR mobile order & pay.

ePOS founder and serial entrepreneur Bhas Kalangi said: “The demand from investors for our second seed round has been overwhelming.

“We’ve attracted a lot of institutional investors who are looking to engage in negotiations despite the round being closed. The money raised will help us pave the way for a period of aggressive hyper-growth across our customer base, our revenues and also across our product innovation.”

In addition, ePOS said one of the imminent tech breakthroughs that caught the eye of investors was the planned launch of a new enterprise version of the system – currently designed for single locations – which is focused on delivering big data and streamlining operations management for large hospitality groups across the UK.

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From left: ePOS Hybrid founder and CEO Bhas Kalangi, and head of growth Andrew Gibbon. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

The firm has also spent the first half of 2022 trialling its services in India, with plans for a launch in the sub-continent’s “huge and largely untapped market, where there are fewer competitors”.

Mr Kalangi added: “In two years we’ve gone from being in 221 locations to almost 1,000. We’ve also seen the value of transactions we process increase 20-fold in the UK, from £4.7m to almost £100m. More than 10 million consumers have used our tech to buy a drink or meal.

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“With an ever-growing team and the next wave of innovation we have under development, we are perfectly positioned to grow globally, taking a bigger share of a worldwide hospitality and food service market that is worth £4.2 trillion. This investment will power that next chapter.”

Andrew Gibbon, the firm’s head of growth, said “ePOS Hybrid was able to innovate and thrive throughout the pandemic, despite the hospitality industry grinding to a halt.

“Outlets are still trying to recover from the effects of Covid but now face skyrocketing operational costs and staff shortages. A huge challenge is the dependence on third-party delivery platforms, who charge up to 35 per cent commission. For many that is unsustainable.

“We estimate our customers have saved at least £2.1m that would otherwise have been paid in third-party commissions.”