Fresh off its $100 million Series C fundraising round, Revel Systems has announced a new partnership. At a soiree in San Francisco on Monday, the point-of-sale (POS) maker company’s co-founders disclosed that it is now partnering with Intuit and unveiled its new online iPad POS solution called QuickBooks Point of Sale powered by Revel Systems. It won’t be ready right away — Intuit says that it will be available in early 2015.
Intuit made the most recent move to form a more solid partnership. A deal was previously in place where data was shared between both systems. However, now this new offering will automatically sync sales, payments, inventory, CRM and payroll data right to QuickBooks, Intuit’s accounting platform. In doing so, retailers will now have a more holistic view of their financials and its impact on their business. The QuickBooks Point of Sale powered by Revel Systems (boy, is that a mouthful) won’t be limited to customers in the United States — businesses can purchase it from anywhere in the world, but must make the buy directly from either Intuit or Revel Systems.
“This is all about giving retailers maximum flexibility to accept payments and manage customer relationships anytime, anywhere, while staying grounded and confident because they can always access an up-to-date and accurate picture of their books,” says Intuit’s senior vice-president for payments and commerce solutions Eric Dunn.
Here’s some of the features that the QuickBooks Point of Sale offers businesses:
- “Intuitive” iPad interface: Both companies say that the POS system will allow users to focus more on their customers instead of having to spend hours training new employees and hidden customer management tools.
- Seamless integration with QuickBooks Online: All sales and payments data is automatically entered and categorized in QuickBooks Online. This feature will be available for both new and existing QuickBooks Online customers.
- Advanced inventory and reporting: retailers can get real insights into their inventory and payments data, including detailed sales numbers, product sales reporting, item discount tracking, and comprehensive history of all orders.
I had an opportunity to speak with Revel Systems’ co-founder Chris Ciabarra at the event who told me the partnership with Intuit will help his company make in-roads into new verticals. It currently has “thousands” of customers, with many of them in the restaurant industry. When prompted for more specific numbers, he wasn’t as forthcoming, nor was he when asked about the breakdown of fees that both Intuit and Revel Systems will make through this endeavor. However, last year, it was reported that Revel Systems had deployed over 5,000 POS terminals. Intuit can certainly tap into the food and beverage industry easily with Revel Systems, while also potentially sharing some of its retail customers — very much a symbiotic relationship.
What’s the cost to businesses for the QuickBooks POS? That will vary depending on the needs of the business. It appears that the real legwork resides with Revel Systems. An establishment can purchase an iPad POS system and get set up with all the other bells and whistles needed (i.e. infrastructure) and then use the Revel Systems software as intended. Intuit’s QuickBooks just offers the additional integrations and support needed. As mentioned earlier, existing QuickBooks and Revel Systems customers can take advantage of this partnership as well.
As Ciabarra and fellow co-founder Lisa Falzone get set to take the company public (which has yet to be publicly announced), Revel Systems needs to show what it can do beyond just the restaurant space alone. Clearly the logical place to install a POS system would be in a restaurant since that’s where it’ll get the most use (it is a $683.4 billion industry in the US with 990,000 restaurant locations alone). But why not also take on another highly active industry as well: retail? And that’s where the Intuit integration becomes critical — it opens doors. Revel Systems does most of the work but wins out in the long-term.
But it’s fascinating to see Intuit set up shop with another point of sale solution. After all, it does have its own powered by (what else?) QuickBooks. Intuit doesn’t appear to have any desire to eliminate its own POS so the Revel Systems deal will help further the reach of its accounting platform making it more accessible. It’s been doing that for at least the past couple of years — in February 2013, QuickBooks Online became available on the iPad and seven months later, Intuit launched a refresh of QuickBooks Online for the Web.
Revel Systems sees itself as a disruptor in the commerce space, perhaps more so than Square and PayPal (although Revel Systems does support PayPal on its terminals). I asked Ciabarra about the competition and he saw his company going after legacy solutions like Aloha and Micros. This is a phenomenon that many are witnessing with tech companies who are coming onto the scene and making a definitive impact on the market share of incumbents. Companies like Revel Systems allow businesses to use modern-age technology with a Cloud-based payment and data processing platform at perhaps considerably less cost. And let’s not forget that they can innovate faster — Revel Systems was one of the first to accept Apple Pay on its terminals.
Right now, Revel Systems offers businesses a complete sales stack (so to speak). This includes barcode scanner, iPad, receipt printer, software, and more. With the $100 million that it just raised, it’s looking to expand into new territories and improve its product line. And you can bet that Intuit isn’t going to be the last company that Revel Systems is striking deals with — the commerce scene is a big space and there’s plenty for the taking.