StoreHub, a Malaysia-based platform that enables restaurants and retailers to automate and grow their business, said Wednesday it has raised $13.5 million in a pre-Series B fundraising round led by 500 Global.

The round also saw participation from existing investors Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, OSK and others, StoreHub said in a statement.

According to the statement, the latest funding round will be used to continue meeting demand while maintaining positive unit economics, and investing in technology innovation to deepen the value for each customer.

“With ‘revenge travel’ and ‘revenge dining’ continuing to drive consumer behaviour in Malaysia and across the region, retail and food and beverage (F&B) business owners are looking for ways to improve operational efficiency and maximise their revenue per customer,

“Our platform automates ordering, payments, and customer engagement. It’s like having 10 extra staff members that work 24/7 for you with zero error. Business owners make more money and get more time for their families, or to expand even more,” said Wai Hong Fong, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of StoreHub.

“Here in Malaysia, we have seen businesses transform themselves to adapt to the new normal. Labour shortages and more demanding and digitally-savvy consumers have increasingly impacted the industry with restaurants and Mamak eateries especially being hit hard in recent times,

“With this, it has become even more critical for businesses to integrate technology into their operations,” he added.

Headquartered in Malaysia and co-founded in 2013 by Wai Hong Fong and Congyu Li, StoreHub started as an early pioneer of cloud-based SaaS Point of Sales (POS) systems in the region.

Today, the platform powers over 15,000 paying retail and restaurant outlets in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia, and has expanded its offering to include QR-based table ordering, loyalty, automated customer engagement, and more.

In the last 12 months, StoreHub has processed over 128 Million transactions worth over MYR7.2 billion ($1.58 billion) in gross transaction volume (GTV), a 40 percent increase over the previous year and a sign of the resurgent times.

New paying stores coming onto the platform have also seen a 5 times growth from the year before. Most of all, acquisition costs for new customers have improved to near break even within the first month.

To match the surging demand, StoreHub has been expanding its team accordingly, bringing in over 100 new hires in the last six months.

In 2021, StoreHub reached close to net profitability by growing average customer revenue throughout the pandemic.

“We joined their first round in 2016, with a small $150,000 check. Fast forward to today, we have invested more than $10 million cumulatively on top of that,” said Khailee Ng, Managing Partner, 500 Global.

“Considering similar companies like Toast are valued at $10.5 billion (9 Sept 2022), StoreHub already has approximately a quarter of Toast’s customer size with another estimated 2 million more potential businesses in Thailand, Malaysia, and Philippines to onboard,

“This in turn creates the playbook for “rest of world”. We believe StoreHub is incredibly valuable because it creates incredible value for so many more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),” Ng added.

Since its launch, StoreHub has served a wide range of SME merchants in Malaysia alone, ranging from locally-grown multistore cafes like VCR and Nasken Coffee to restaurants like Grub by Ahong & Friends and WoodFire.

Malaysia’s raises $7M funding led by Headline Asia