Almost a decade ago, a Brooklyn wine store owner – frustrated by not having the technology to manage sales and inventory for a business of his size — decided to create a company that could. That solution became ShopKeep, a point-of-sale and financial-technology (fintech) company founded in 2008 that now provides point-of-sale tools – that track and manage sales and inventory — for 23,000 independent retailers and restaurants.
Though it was web-based initially, today the ShopKeep platform is available via mobile apps on tablets and cloud-based back office capabilities, processing total annual sales of $6-$7 billion for its users.
The company, operating in the U.S. to-date, has potential to expand globally under CEO Michael DeSimone, who joined ShopKeep in November 2015 after leading global ecommerce company, Borderfree. DeSimone says he was drawn to the idea of “bringing technology to part of commerce that really hasn’t had the benefit of a scalable technology platform.” Smaller merchants have long had to rely either on traditional electronic cash registers without digital capabilities that connect to a larger accounting and management system, or on expensive point-of-sale systems that didn’t fit their size or budgets.
ShopKeep “was founded by what I call a frustrated merchant,” DeSimone explains, detailing the company’s roots. The wine store owner was on vacation when his outdated point-of-sale system crashed and wouldn’t allow either remote access or intervention; the store suffered sizeable losses in data and sales as a result. He responded by creating a scalable system for smaller merchants, one that operates with cloud-based technology that allows remote access to their sales and systems when off-site. In wine terms, he came up with an affordable vintage that suited everyone’s tastes.