Erply, the startup that makes iPad-oriented and cloud-based point of sale and inventory management software for retailers, has raised $2.15 million in new funding, co-founder CEO Kristian Hiiemaa tells TechCrunch.
The round, which is Erply’s Series B, was led by Redpoint Ventures with the participation of Index Ventures and Dave McClure’s 500 Startups. This brings the total venture capital investment into Erply to $4.2 million.
The decision to take on just $2.15 million was a definite choice, Hiiemaa said, noting that Erply had offers from investors keen to pitch in on a $10 million Series B. But Hiiemaa decided to keep the round small because his company, which has a staff of 45, is profitable. “There’s no need [for a larger round] now,” he said.
One way that Erply has achieved the strong financial position to be choosy with investors is by having its technology development in Hiiemaa’s native Estonia, where he has the know-how to employ top tier engineering talent. An Erply competitor with engineering operations in the United States “would need to raise $20 million to get the same team and speed,” Hiiemaa said.
Still, Erply, which has been kicking into high gear of late and currently has 45 million SKUs in 115,000 stores on board, has no shortage of ways that the new funding will come in handy — especially since its competitors include deep-pocketed tech giants such as Microsoft, Oracle, and RetailPro. The company just signed a lease on a new sales floor in New York City and plans to double its staff in the months ahead. Going forward, Hiiemaa said, Erply is focusing on big enterprise sales efforts, targeting more Fortune 500 companies with more than 200 store locations to use its platform. Also in the works at Erply is an iPad compatible RFID, NFC, and Bluetooth-enabled hardware device to manage inventory that should be making its debut later this year.
As Hiiemaa told me earlier this spring, Erply’s larger vision is a big one — to help brick and mortar shops stay in business and keep our neighborhoods vibrant. “The most important thing for me is helping retailers to survive and be successful,” Hiiemaa said at the time. “They have stores, locations, inventory, but they lack web knowledge and algorithmic-powered tools to understand retention. Otherwise, online eats the stores.” Now Erply has a bit more firepower to fight that good fight, and let technology help traditional businesses rather than hurt them.