By Mario Toneguzzi
New funding is expected to drive continued innovation for Montreal-based Lightspeed POS Inc.’s growing customer base of nearly 50,000.
Lightspeed, which bills itself as the world’s most advanced cloud-based point-of- sale software solution for independent retailers and restaurateurs, recently announced it had closed a US $166 million investment.
The series D round was led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (la Caisse) with an investment of US $136 million, and included participation from Investissement Québec (IQ), iNovia Capital and a credit line from Silicon Valley Bank.
“The retail and restaurant industries now require businesses to deliver a greater and more unique experience to thrive,” says Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of Lightspeed. “Lightspeed is leading the digital transformation with our powerful, easy-to- use platform, which enables your favourite local businesses to increase revenue, continue to innovate, and ultimately deliver an extraordinary shopping or dining experience.”
The total amount invested in the Montreal-based technology company is US$292 million as global demand continues to grow for cloud-based POS and commerce solutions. The total investment includes all the rounds from A to D which began in 2012.
“We’re reaching a different stage in the company where we have a different type of investor that reflects the maturity of the company,” says Dasilva.
The company says it remains focused on providing customer-centric, market-leading POS technology solutions that power retail and restaurant businesses. It says the additional investment supports further innovation of its fully-integrated omnichannel Retail and mobile Restaurant solutions, and supports the company’s global expansion to address market demand.
“International expansion is a big focus for us. We have eight offices around the world,” says Dasilva.
Nearly 50,000 retailers and restaurateurs, processing over US $15 billion in transactions annually use Lightspeed’s services which can be found in 100 countries. The company was founded in 2005 and it has grown to nearly 600 employees, with global offices in Canada, USA, Europe, and Australia. Three offices are located in Europe where 200 of its employees work.
Dasilva says the company is also starting to see some traction in Asia and South America.
Since 2015 when it had its last round of investment, Lightspeed grew from 25,000 customers to 50,000 today and Dasilva says some pretty impressive customer growth is expected over the next couple of years. The total amount of transactions processed went from $10 billion in 2015 to $15 billion today.
“Two years ago, when we first invested in Lightspeed, the company was already considered a Canadian leader in its field. Today, its solutions are used in more than 100 countries and Lightspeed is the world’s largest company in its sector. This success is due to the impressive innovations that it implemented and the strategic vision of its experienced management team,” says Christian Dubé, Executive Vice-President, Québec at la Caisse. “This investment is part of our commitment to provide long-term support to Québec’s new-economy companies as they grow internationally.”
Lightspeed says its customers see a 20 per cent increase in revenue, on average, during the first full year on the platform. A few of the marquee retail brands that use the POS platform every day to power their businesses include: Todd Snyder, Want Les Essentiels, DASH, Draper James, Rocket Fizz, Malin+Goetz, Mike’s Bikes in California, and the Montréal Canadiens. Restaurateurs are beginning to adopt new technology at a much faster pace than ever before, and some of the places Lightspeed can be found include: Eataly, La Marina NYC, Nobu Malibu, Lutze Biergarten, Zoku Amsterdam Hotel, Hummus Bros, Crêpeaffaire, and Detroit Foundation Hotel.
“We were among the first to believe in Lightspeed’s remarkable growth potential and invest in it,” says Investissement Québec President and CEO Pierre Gabriel Côté. “Lightspeed is currently enjoying an impressive level of success. It is now a global leader whose growth and accomplishments are making waves far beyond our borders. It was only natural for Investissement Québec to reinvest in the company.”