Revel Systems, purveyor of iPad-based point-of-sale systems for restaurant, retail and other customer-service facing businesses, announced its $10.1 million Series B funding round today. The new investment comes from Tim Tighe, former CEO of Hungry Jack’s and SVP of McDonald’s Southeast Asia, and Sean Tomlinson, serial entrepreneur. Both are private investors based in Asia, and the source of the funding reflects Revel’s larger goals.
The SF-based Revel aims to continue its growth both at home and abroad, but will be opening new offices in both Asia and Australia with the help of this round. The new offices, combined with continued efforts to grow at home, will require a significant headcount increase, according to Revel, with its San Francisco-based staff set to increase by 50 percent immediately on the tail of this raise. Another target for domestic investment from the funding is a west coast distribution center for the iPad-compatible hardware that Revel provides its customers, which include countertop terminals, printers, scales and cash drawers.
Tighe joins Revel’s advisory board as part of the deal, and Tomlinson gets added to the Board of Directors. Both bring the kind of experience Revel needs to help smooth and accelerate its international positioning, which is a key part of the company’s business strategy after having expanded successfully across a number of different market verticals at home in the U.S. I asked about the challenges Revel faces moving into new markets, and how additional expertise will help.
“Each of the countries that we are moving into is more strict than the USA, since most of them are already using EMV [chip card payment standard],” Revel co-founder Lisa Falzone said in an interview. “However, Revel already has a good year head start on EMV, since we were the first iPad POS to announce EMV processing earlier this year… The nice thing about the UK and EU is the new payment players that are making it easier for new POSs to enter the market. For example, we can connect into SumUp and Ayden and be good for almost all EU and UK with one six-month integration, which is really nice since it makes the time to entry a lot less. “
Other challenges include negotiating language localization and tax rules, but Revel is able to tackle these through allocation of new funds and with the help of expert local advisors. Existing players in the market like Micros are also a challenge, but Revel says it has little in the way of internationally based competitors when it comes to those offering similarly disruptive use of technologies like the iPad.
This round is all about stepping up the rate at which Revel can expand, according to Falzone. The company has talked previously about its success and ability to stand on its own, but taking on additional investment really opens up what it can do in relatively little time.
“[The funding] really accelerates the pace,” she said. “Revel has proven that it can do a lot with a little – we are profitable as of December of last year and are growing as funds allow. Now that we can have an abundance of funds, we’ll really be able to speed up the process.”
Coming up on the product side, Revel is looking to build out its enterprise options with new features, Falzone says, though she wasn’t able to share any details. Adding more for larger businesses is another key part of Revel’s growth strategy, however, so expect to see this help with its efforts to court larger brands and companies.