The Big Smoke speaks to Nick Cloete of cloud-based POS geniuses, Kounta, and learns that their ethos and product go far beyond our expectations.
TBS: Good Morning, Nick. Can you please tell The Big Smoke audience about your background, and how you came to be the founder of Kounta?
NC: I got involved in this legacy Point of Sale software company and realised that even though the software had been developed over the past 30 odd years and had all the features in the world, it couldn’t do what our customers needed it to do. It was difficult to sell, update and support, and couldn’t come close to catering to the requirements of today’s online, mobile and connected world. So I assembled a small group of outstanding people to design and develop the best way to better connect merchants and their customers today, in-store at point of sale.
What is the one thing you want the market and prospective clients to know about Kounta?
We are more than a POS system.
We bring efficiencies to every store in the world, enriching real life experiences between people, starting at the counter.
We thoughtfully design solutions to cost-effectively implement simple yet powerful technology that allows merchants to better run, connect and grow their service.
And yes, our first product is a Point of a Sale System with a connected eco-system of seamlessly integrated Add-Ons that creates an all-in-one “Merchant Operating System”.
What has been the toughest obstacle for Kounta to overcome since you launched?
Scaling our platform and educating the market while we do it. When we first started and launched a cloud-based POS system, we were laughed at. “It would never work,” they said. Now a few years on, it’s one of the fastest growing spaces. Kounta has levelled the playing field, by providing much more cost effective, agile solutions for smaller businesses.
Traditionally these technologies were cost-prohibitive to anybody but big budget enterprise businesses, whereas we’ve made it accessible to the everyday merchant. This approach has made Kounta quite popular and the company has grown fast as a result, however, you find very quickly you have to keep up with fast growth, especially on the software side of things.
It very quickly becomes less about constantly delivering new products and features, but a consistently good experience that is robust and reliable, especially in the fast paced world of retail and hospitality.
What has been your proudest milestone to date?
Building a team of outstanding people who are really into what they do.
Also, Kounta has already partnered with well-respected brands like the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a world first all-in-one payments and POS solution, MYOB to develop a co-branded version of Kounta and more recently OzHarvest to fight food waste.
I’ve also launched an Australia-based family, for which I am also hard at work, improving every day.
What is your best advice for entrepreneurs approaching their first idea?
- Stick to it…
- Andrew Connole, owner of Sonoma Baking Company (one of Kounta’s first customers) once said to me: “Don’t knock on the door, kick it down.”
- Albert Einstein said: “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex… It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” In technology, it’s very easy to make things complicated. I think it’s important to pay attention to ease of use.
- Napoleon Hill said: “The Master Mind is as a mind that is developed through the harmonious cooperation of two or more people who ally themselves for the purpose of accomplishing any given task.” I would say this piece is the best advice I’ve got so far and most important to me.
Check out and support some of the brilliant Aussie brands who work with Kounta to grow and streamline their business:
Having built a reputation for delivering hearty burgers to the masses via their fleet of food trucks, Mr Burger also has three permanent outlets in the heart of Melbourne.
Deus Cafe is attached to the Deus Ex Machina motorbike Mecca next door. The name means ‘God of the machine’, but we tend to think of it as ‘God of the space’ because there’s just something otherworldly about the cavernous warehouse conversion that is the Deus Cafe.
“Our job is to make people happy. Yes, we are making amazing gelato with the very best, real ingredients. And yes our gelato cakes are weird and wonderful, but it’s all in the name of putting a smile on someone’s face.”
Primed for perving, nibbling and sipping, MOJO is a set in Luke Mangan’s global headquarters. Oh, and it’s also the home to an enticing tapas and wine bar.
Legend has it that Uncle Ming was one of Shanghai’s most notorious figures – a sweet potato vendor who began a life of crime as a policeman collecting protection money from local opium traders. Having to leave China, Uncle Ming settled in Sydney in the 1920’s and set up a place for the local community to meet and have a drink.
Check out the disruptive Kounta today!