New York City startup ShopKeep, a provider of customer care and point-of-sales technology for retailers, appointed former iQor Chief Executive Norm Merritt as co-CEO and president.
Mr. Merritt joined ShopKeep on May 1, according to ShopKeep founder and CEO Jason Richelson.
Mr. Richelson said after six years running ShopKeep on his own, he “knew he wanted to not just build a great product, but also a big company.” He wasn’t sure how to scale in every way though, and started looking for someone to help him back in December.
The founder was inspired to split the CEO role, he said, by Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, and what they have done at Berkshire Hathaway as partners.
“Most really great companies are run by two people or more, regardless of their titles,” he said.
In April, ShopKeep raised $25 million in a Series C round of venture funding led by Thayer Street Partners to help smaller stores deliver customer service the way Apple does.
Among other things, the ShopKeepPOS system allows brick-and-mortar stores to use roving, mobile cash registers, track the frequency of customer visits, and send employees home if their store is over-staffed.
ShopKeep delivers a system in a box to its customers that includes a cash drawer, a secure credit card reader (or “swiper”), an iPad and a stand. This costs about $1,200 for one location with a single-register set up.
Prior to joining ShopKeep, Mr. Merritt was the CEO of iQor, a company with 32,000 employees in seven countries that is an outsource provider of business services including customer support and collections.
Mr. Merritt told Venture Capital Dispatch that he intends to help ShopKeep scale significantly without sacrificing its reputation for customer care.
For one, he’d like ShopKeep to double its number of customer care agents – the startup currently has about 30.
He also wants to help ShopKeep do better financial planning and analysis, and more aggressive outbound marketing.
A majority of ShopKeep’s customers have come through search and word-of-mouth queries, the new co-CEO said, a testament to the ease-of-use of its software and point of sales systems for even “mom and pop” shops that have not used a lot of tech in the past to run their businesses.
Since closing its most recent funding round, Mr. Richelson said, the company has determined to set up a new, customer care and sales office in Portland, Oregon and begun hiring there.
They have also continued to recruit and hire designers and engineers in their New York and Belfast offices.
Ultimately, Mr. Richelson said, he wants every retail store and restaurant in the U.S. — whether it’s independent, or larger with multiple locations – to think about ShopKeep when they think about what they need to do business.
“They have to get their lease, their lawyer and ShopKeep setup,” he said.