StoreHub lands $5.1M help SMEs in Southeast Asia digitize their business

StoreHub, a startup that helps retailers digitize their business, has closed a $5.1 million Series A round led by Vertex Venture to expand in Southeast Asia.

The startup was founded in 2014 and it offers point-of-sale technology and digital services to retailers. The idea is to help bring the long tail of less sophisticated physical merchants online to help them digitize their finances and inventory management.

StoreHub  charges around $39 per month for its POS services — which it sells hardware for — and it is currently present in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines where it claims to work with some 3,200 retail stores. Now it has plans to expand to other markets in Southeast Asia. Nothing is set in stone, but the company is eying Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia among other destinations.

“We decided to enter sea because 50-80 percent of retailers don’t have a system in place,” founder and CEO Wai Hong Fong, who previously founded Australian niche e-commerce store startup OZHut, told TechCrunch in an interview. “The landscape of retail is shifting, we’ve seen that in U.S. and China, and that’s driven by consumers all having a mobile phone.”

Beyond more countries, StoreHub is also aiming to expand the services it offers to its paying retailer customers to cover digital marketing, e-commerce and more.

“POS is the entry point, then we get to be the hub,” Fong said. “From there we can help businesses branch out.”

Fong himself is based in Malaysia, but his fellow co-founder and company CTO Congyu Li is based in Shanghai, where she leads the startup’s tech team. The new funding will allow that team to increase as part of a hiring spree aimed at doubling StoreHub’s current headcount of 80 staff.

Li and Fong met in China, where Fong moved after leaving OZHut. Li spent five years working for Microsoft prior to founding StoreHub.

In addition to Vertex Ventures, which is a part of Singaporean sovereign fund group Temasek, Malaysia’s Cradle Seed Ventures, Accord Ventures and Fintonia Group also participated in the funding round.