It’s a little more modest than the $100 million in funding announced last month, but Revel Systems, makers of an iPad point-of-sale product of the same name, is picking up yet more capital. This time, it’s a grant of $1.2 million, from Invest Northern Ireland, for Revel to open an office in the capital of Belfast.
The office in Northern Ireland will be used to expand the company’s business in the UK and the rest of Europe. Revel already has smaller European outposts established in London and Vilnius, Lithuania; and another location in Australia.
The move to ramp up its business in Europe comes not just as retailers are looking for an edge over others in the holiday sales rush, but also in the wake of Revel raising that sizeable round of $100 million in November ahead of a potential IPO.
At the time of that announcement, the company’s co-founder Chris Ciabarra told TC that its next stop in an aggressive expansion strategy would be Europe.
“We’re expanding globally, and in the U.S. also of course,” he said. “We’re gonna be taking over Europe as our next battle.”
Revel has already deployed 10,000 POS terminals that work within a broader offering of accounting, reporting and analytics features, with most of its users in the U.S. Its growth in Europe will see it go head-to-head with a number of others, including those who have been active here for some years now as well as those who are just getting started.
Existing point-of-sale businesses include the likes of PayPal’s here, iZettle, Rocket Internet’s Payleven and Sage. Newer players also include Square, which only last week turned on its Square Register app globally for the first time — but has yet to activate the payment options within it.
But while things may be getting a little crowded on the competition front, the situation is different when it comes to actual penetration among merchants, particularly the small and medium-sized businesses that are one of the key focuses for Revel.
The opportunity here is huge, even considering how many other companies are going after the same users. A report published in October this year by the European Commission estimates that there are 21.6 million SMBs in Europe, not counting businesses in the financial sector. This works out to 99 out of every 100 businesses, the report notes.
As part of this announcement, Revel’s also making a call for people to come join the company, pointing to the wider regeneration Northern Ireland is hoping to bring to its country to repeat the success of Ireland in the south.
“We are excited to help European merchants take their businesses to the next level and are looking for dynamic leaders with real entrepreneurial spirit who can continually look for new creative solutions to meet customers’ needs,” said Lisa Falzone, co-founder and CEO of Revel Systems, in a statement.