To continue our efforts in bringing the stories of startups and successful new business ideas around the world, we bring you the email conversation with one of co-founders of BindoPOS, which is trying to bring change in the way you shop using mobiles and more specifically the iPAD.
Ans: Brad Lauster here. I’m the cofounder of Bindo, where we’re really changing the way retailers run their business- for the better. On March 3rd, 1998, I had the most exciting yet disappointing day of my life. It was the day I made my first online purchase. There I was: a curious doe-eyed high school boy playing around with a “Bondi Blue” iMac in the computer lab, wishing to understand more about the trending topic of the late 90’s known as “ecommerce.” Having always been fascinated by urbanism and community (while wishing to make a somewhat iconic first purchase), I decided to buy the book, “The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community” by Peter Katz & Vincent Scully along with a pair of headphones for my walkman. It was extremely exciting.
Ecommerce, I thought, was going to completely change the way I shopped. You see, I thought I was able to buy everything off the internet: books from Barnes & Nobles, my go-to pair of khakis from the Gap, and my favorite homemade cookies from Cafe Beethoven, the local bakery in my town. But that wasn’t the case. In fact, it was far from it. Online shopping only applied to big box retailers, making it impossible for me to purchase my favorite products from mom and pop shops from neighboring towns. At first, I brushed it off. It wasn’t my problem, I thought. But then, in 2007, my aunt’s local clothing store for children, KC Clothing, went out of business. The reason? Ecommerce and the power of large retailers. The thing that I thought was so fascinating was actually hurting my family.Fast forward 7 years later, equipped with a college degree and experience from the world’s most powerful career network, I decided to embark on a journey to create my own online network of local retailers- “Bindo.” Inspired from my eat-pray-love-esque trip to Asia, “Bindo” means “where?” in Cantonese. And the answer to that is here. In your neighborhood. At your current location. It turns out my first online purchase was iconic after all.
Q2. What is the market size of retailers who might use your platform?
Ans: We have several hundred merchants signed up globally from Hong Kong to New York. We mainly deal with small and medium size merchants.
Q3. Does it make sense to focus on one particular product of another company? What if they discontinue iPads altogether?
Ans: I don’t think this will happen, but we are cloud based Mobile PoS so we are going to be compatible with any mobile device.
Q4. What value addition you see your platform brings to the retailers?
Ans: The value added is our ease of use and inventory management. With Bindo, a merchant can handle 1000s of skus across multiple stores. Furthermore, we will be creating an online marketplace that will allow all merchants to have greater visibility. Bindo offers customer-relationship management tools that lets them see what each customer has purchased before.
Q5. Do you plan to take your product to global retailers?
Ans: Bindo is already in several locations around the globe.
Q6. Do you think you will have something for Android-based pads too in near future?
Ans: No, we feel that IPads have much better consistency and performance.
Q7. What ambition your startup has?
Ans: Bindo’s aims to be the first online to offline marketplace where everyone merchant that has signed up through Bindo to be able to offer their products online allowing customers to have items delivered from local stores and check what’s in stock.