Peter van der Bel - Co-founder & Director
Peter has 30+ years of entrepreneurial experience. His work is at the crossroads of behavioral science, technology and business. He successfully started, built and exited ventures before, amongst others PiCompany.
Tim Pellikaan - Co-founder & Head of Product
Tim initiated Count3r during his master theses, earning him MSc degrees in Industrial Design Engineering and Information Sciences, with an honours degree in entrepreneurship. Before that he learned valuable lessons at a startup that failed.
Jori de Goede - Co-founder & Developer
Jori is an experienced front/back-end developer. Before Jori joined Count3r he worked more than eight years on C-level projects for companies such as Walt Disney Studios, BelVilla and KLM.
Mighael Vroom - Head of Business
Mighael is a MSc from both London Business School and Delft University of Technology. Before Count3r he worked at several startups and also has experience starting one. At Count3r, Mighael manages business development and the implementation for our customers.
Tim de Wolf - Lead Developer
Tim is a wizard and full-stack developer with 10 years of experience in PHP, Node.JS, Angular, MySQL, front-end design, and mobile applications.
Alexander Kleipool - Business Development & Marketing
After Alex finished his studies at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences he started directly at Count3r. With compassion and empathy he is responsible for new business, marketing and customer relationship building.
Jan Schoormans - Advisor
Jan is professor consumer research & behavior at Delft University of Technology. This expertise, combined with his matter of fact attitude, makes him the perfect advisor for both solicited and unsolicited advice in product development and strategy.
Fadhlur Fadhlurrohman - Intern
Fadhlur is the silent force behind our designs and employee dashboard. Next to that he beats everybody at Fifa '17 at our office.
Physical retail is the art of staff selling stuff in a store. For ages this was the only way to sell things, until online shopping completely reshaped retail. Customers have changed and physical retailers forgot to change along with them.
Retail spending stayed the same
On staff to sell stuff to shoppers
(≈ 50% of gross margin)
On stores to show stuff to shoppers
(≈ 30% of gross margin)
Shoppers expect stores to do more
More knowledgeable sales staff
(78% of respondents 1)
Easier store & checkout processes
(68% of respondents 1)
Count3r turns physical stores into Smart Stores. Our personalized tablet app for sales staff enables them to sell the way customers want to buy today. We help sales staff, consumers and retailers.
Sales staff gets the best technology from online shopping and more, but tailored to physical stores, such as: product facts, stock data, product filtering & comparison, reviews, sales tips & tricks, training, sales conversation support, upselling & cross-selling support, and easy checkout & payment.
Consumers get better advice, are served quicker, and can pay anywhere in the store. This leads to more satisfied customers.
Payment at table
Retailers receive data from Count3r for more insight in their customers and employees. This allows retailers to constantly improve sales processes and customer experience. Their staff is able to work quicker and more efficiently, resulting in more and profitable sales.
Rich data collection
Rich data dashboards
Advanced NPS & CES
Count3r makes physical stores fit our digital world and become Smart Stores.
1 PwC, Total Retail Survey, 2016 & 2017 (reports)
Unique Selling Points
Sell 20% more immediately - Staff with Count3r sells more (per hour and per transaction). We have repeatedly shown that employees can be trained in only one hour and produce better results immediately. According to Deloitte the potential is even bigger: "using digital devices in stores lifts conversion rates by 40 to 70%" (the digital divide, 2015).
All information, all the time - We are living in the information age, yet most sales associates are still disconnected. Count3r brings all information staff needs to sell on every department: product information, sales support, and much more.
Made for people, not machines - Sales associates are the beating heart of stores. That is why Count3r builds software explicitly for employees. Traditional ERP, PIM and CRM systems serve legacy IT systems. We bring the IT jungle together in one app, reduce complexity, and serve staff to do what they like best: spending time with customers.
Easy integration - We do not interfere with current IT infrastructures, a simple API connection or data feed will do. Count3r is set up in weeks, not years.
Turning stores data-driven - Count3r tablets are where the action is: in the middle of every sales conversation. This unleashes new sorts of in-store data and insights that were unimaginable before. We finally turn the offline store into a data-driven powerhouse!
Increasing store profitability - Severe price competition has put strain on business models of retailers. Nudging customers towards profitable shopping baskets is vital. We are the first to apply online cross-selling and upselling methods during in-store sales conversations.
Save on staff costs - Count3r's technology helps sales associates sell anything on every department. This allows for significant cost savings in staff deployment.
Best of both worlds - Too many retailers confuse customers with disconnected online and offline customer journeys. Count3r creates seamless omnichannel experiences, enabling customers to continue online journeys in-store, facilitating every delivery or pick-up possibility, and allowing to pay anywhere in the store.
The best product advice - Too much choice is paralyzing. Count3r's proprietary decision algorithms support staff to recommend customers their perfect product in seconds.
Count3r is sold to large (international) retail chains as a semi-custom SaaS (Software as as Service) solution. This solution is first optimized to the specific retailer's needs and then rolled out to all stores. This results in the following two revenue streams:
Pilot phase - Retailers have unique needs. We listen to those needs in order to adapt, test and implement our core-technology to become their semi-custom Count3r sales staff app during a 3 to 6 months co-creation period. This is offered for a fixed all-in monthly fee of €10k to €25k.
Roll-out phase - After the pilot phase, a roll-out agreement is reached with the (inter)national headquarters of the retailer. The app is made available on a monthly licence fee per employee of €49. This fee includes product roll-out, employee training, updates, maintenance, and support. We are currently generating revenue with this model.
Future revenue streams could include additional software licences and performance-based models. The extra licences come from advanced business intelligence or customized features for retailers. The performance model creates a win-win for retailer and Count3r, and makes most sense when numbers of transactions increase.
The Count3r tablet app was built from the ground-up and used in several Media Markt stores for 1,5 years. During extensive testing the app proved stable and fast. With the necessary functionality for retailers developed and tested, the app is now ready for scaling. The following aspects have been anticipated for successful scaling.
Integration with retailers - Our app is easy to integrate, retailers don't have to rebuild legacy IT systems, but we connect to their existing systems. This is all done during the pilot phase.
Content - Most content for the app (e.g. product information) is made available by retailers. This can be supplemented with detailed product content from our partners (e.g. Icecat).
App distribution - The app is available in Apple's Enterprise App Store (the business-to-business App Store). This makes distributing and regularly updating the app remotely to thousands of iPads quick and easy.
Tablet supply - Some retailers, like Media Markt, will equip employees with personal tablets and manage technical support themselves. Customers who do not want to arrange tablets themselves can lease them via our partner NivoPlus.
Technical scaling - Count3r is built 100% on web-based technologies. This allows us to scale to 100,000's of users quickly. Amazon Web Services facilitates our servers and content hosting. As a backup, we use local storage on the iPad in case of bad WiFi connection.
Support - We offer support in tight cooperation with the retailer. The Count3r app offers features to easily report errors or give product feedback to our team. These are then handled in real-time and can be updated in the stores directly. The retailer is responsible for store infrastructure, such as WiFi and possibly some hardware.
- The Count3r app is ready for scale-up and roll-out with Media Markt:The app is fully developed and ready to be rolled-out to all Media Markt stores in the Netherlands (contractually agreed).
- All relevant integrations with Media Markt systems have been made successfully (e.g. stock levels, order management and real-time prices).
- Product content from both Media Markt and Icecat is always up-to-date, and the app is registered in Apple's Enterprise App Store for large-scale deployment on iPads.
- Various technical Integrations have been made with our partners, for improved cross-selling, payment, and delivery capabilities.
We believe in the Smart Store. Therefore, we have planned the following general development milestones to realize our vision.
Seamless omnichannel checkouts
This includes online orders, smart cross-selling, mobile payment, flexible delivery planning and more. Most of these features have already been developed or are currently being developed.
Rich store & staff data collection
This includes improved employee data dashboards, staff knowledge crowdsourcing, advanced net promoter score measurement & analysis, loyalty program integration and more.
Data-driven in-store sales conversations
This includes advanced sales conversation support, reasons to buy, demographics data, customer identification, enterprise business intelligence integration and more.
Central retail staff platform for the Smart Store
This includes third-party integrations (e.g. with for example Speakap, beacons, or retail software packages), product and customer personality matching Internet-of-things integrations, gamification and more.
Employees are a physical retailer's biggest expense, but retailers do too little to help staff stay relevant in a changing retail landscape. Count3r explicitly serves employees and boosts the return on investment of retail staff.
Count3r targets large and heavily staffed retail chains that want their (often) hundreds of stores and thousands of employees to better fit our digital world. We focus on companies that sell durable goods, where purchases are non-routine and customers are highly involved buyers. Relevant retail sectors include: consumer electronics, bicycles, furniture, toys, kitchen, home improvement, and many more.
Obtainable market for Count3r in the Netherlands: €41.7 million
The global market for Smart Store and retail staff performance improvement technology is enormous and rapidly growing. Count3r's long-term ambition is global, but we believe in mastering the local market first. The Netherlands is a guiding country in retail: innovations are rapidly adopted by customers and there is a strong presence of target (multinational) retail chains.
Total revenues of the Dutch physical retail market alone already amount to €100 billion of which approximately 35% is within Count3r's scope of durable goods chains. 2, 3 These retailers spend roughly 15% of this total revenue on staff. 2, 4 According to a recent study by McKinsey, as much as 53% of all current retail work activities could disappear due to productivity gains and automation. 5 Hence, the total available retail staff automation & productivity improvement market for physical durable goods chains in Netherlands is estimated to total €2.8 billion.
Count3r's tablet assisted sales technology helps retailers increase labour effectiveness and directly addresses the above described market. Few other technologies have this laser-like focus on enhancing sales staff productivity on the shop floor. Nonetheless, the obtainable financial benefits have to be shared with retailers, other technologies and direct competitors. It is assumed that device assisted sales technology can realistically capture and service 5% of the staff automation market and that Count3r can obtain a market share of 30%. Therefore, Count3r's serviceable obtainable market in the Netherlands is estimated to amount: €41.7 million.
2 Detailhandel.info, 2017 (website)
3 McKinsey, Rewriting retail, 2016 (report)
4 PwC, Measuring up, 2013 (report)
5 McKinsey, A future that works, 2017 (report)
Available device assisted sales market in Western Europe: €3.5 billion
The total Western European retail revenues are approximately €2.94 trillion.6 Extrapolating the Dutch figures to the Western European market leads to an available market estimate of €3.5 billion. The total available device assisted sales market globally is almost seven times that size: €23.3 billion. 6 Count3r wants to become a major player in capturing this global market.
6 PwC, 2015-16 Outlook for the Retail and Consumer Products Sector in Asia, 2015
Count3r is the central Smart Store platform, devoted to serving employees. As a result, Count3r does not compete with large corporate software companies heads on, but creates a new 'blue ocean' market by cherry-picking the best of each system (e.g. ERP, POS, CRM and eCommerce) and blending it into one application. Some of the traditional retail software manufacturers (e.g. IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce) have made moves towards in-store assisted selling apps. Unlike Count3r, these apps are usually simple extensions of current offerings, very much legacy system focused, and not putting the needs of employees first.
Other companies also have dedicated device assisted sales platforms. Most notably, Tulip Retail (Canada) and MadMobile (US) are serving some big name chains in the US and growing fast. Count3r is the only assisted selling platform in Europe to date. With the American markets still for grabs and with new EU data regulation coming into effect next year, we expect to maintain our leading position in Europe and benefit from early mover advantages.
Some retail chains will aim to build device assisted sales platforms in-house. However, these projects are time consuming, expensive, and always at risk of being already obsolete at the moment they are rolled out. Other competition comes from online players that simply try to copy solutions from the web to the store. These solutions generally lack the physical retail experience, ignore the strengths of stores and effectively just create a 'regular' webshop inside a brick-and-mortar store.
Count3r is proud of Media Markt as a launching customer. We have executed twelve paid pilots in seven stores and are generating revenues for more than two years. These experiences have lead to annual contracts with a couple of stores and our admission to their global Spacelab Tech Accelerator. We were selected as one of three companies out of dozens of applications. After the program, the parent company MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group did a strategic investment in Count3r and contractually committed to roll-out to all 49 Media Markt stores in the Netherlands as a first step.
Within one year we want all our Dutch stores to use Count3r's tablet app and improve our service towards customers. It is expected that the other stores in Germany and elsewhere in Europe will follow.
Dennis Hooijmans, VP Services & Solutions MediaMarktsaturn Group (former COO Media Markt The Netherlands)
Count3r is my personal favorite, because they bring the benefits of online shopping to the physical store. The iPad provides all product information to staff and helps them to serve critical and well-prepared customers with personal advice. Count3r optimizes selling on the shop floor.
Henk Hofstede, Sector Banker Retail ABN-AMRO
Future customers come from different retail segments. Count3r can be used for any durable goods purchase. The current sales pipeline includes companies, such as: Bridgestone (tyres), ANWR Group (shoes and Sport 2000 sports gear), Pon Holdings (automotive and Gazelle Bicycles), C&A (clothing), Blokker Holding (household, toys, furniture, and more), and Yamaha Motors (motors, off road, boats, generators). The goal of this crowdfunding campaign is to convert these and other companies to become satisfied Count3r customers.
Do physical stores fit a world that no longer exists? Online shopping has been the main driver of innovation in retail, but customers still go to physical stores for 90% of purchases. Count3r blends the best of both worlds and transforms the physical store into a Smart Store.
Customers demand more knowledgeable store staff, and desire easier store and checkout processes. Count3r is the tablet app for sales staff to turn physical stores truly digital. Store associates with Count3r sell the way customers wants to buy nowadays. Staff sells 20% more and more profitably.
Marketing and sales channels
Count3r's sales funnel includes the following steps:
- Creating awareness, sharing expertise and getting in touch through cold calling, speaking engagements, content marketing, industry events and our wider network
- Introduction meetings enable us to share our story, navigate through the retail company, and find the right people within the organisation
- A joint pilot workshop gets all relevant people in the same room and establishes agreement on the objectives of the following pilot phase
- The paid co-creation pilot phase takes 3 to 6 months and modifies the existing Count3r app to the specific needs of the retailer
- The co-created app is ready for roll-out and sold as a SaaS solution
The first awareness phase intends to have people talk about Count3r, spread our story, and get that first meeting with large retailers. Our goal is to move to a joint pilot workshop after two to four explorative meetings, phone calls and/or demos. We expect to convert one out of four companies who had an introductory meeting with us to do a pilot workshop. Subsequently, we aim to add one third of companies that did a workshop as a satisfied customer after the co-creation pilot phase.
Worldwide product content provider
Provider of cross-selling tools
Hardware partner to supply tablets
Facilitator of the Enterprise App Store
Payment service provider
Payment service provider
Platform for flexible labour
Mapping and navigation solutions
Startup accelerator in Amsterdam
Academic partner & investor
Marketing & advertising agency
Realised and expected revenues
Count3r's main revenue stream comes from selling monthly licences of the sales staff app and separate licences for unique features. Additionally, Count3r and its partners facilitate retailers to buy or lease required equipment for the Smart Store, generating a second source of income. Finally, Count3r generates revenue with paid pilot projects at prospective customers. This income stream has been the major source of income for the past two years.
2015 - €35,000
2016 - €85,000
2017 - €253,200
2018 - €1,619,000
2019 - €5,220,500
2020 - €11,308,400
2021 - €19,750,800
- Media Markt is the main driver of early stage growth. It is assumed that the contractually agreed rollout in the Netherlands fully materializes and that 25% of all stores in Europe will follow. With an assumed average of 15 licences per store, this amounts to 6500 licences in total. Hardware supplies are expected to be limited at Media Markt.
- The financial forecasts include a single size average customer for simplification. Actual customers will be smaller or larger. This average customer is assumed to grow to 1300 total licences in two years (20% the size of Media Markt). The typical customer is expected to start with a paid six month co-creation pilot and also lease some hardware.
- Given our current sales pipeline we expect to add 2 customers in 2017. It is assumed that sales efforts steadily improve over time and 16 customers will be added in year 5. The total number of customers by the end of 2021 will be 41, with over 37,000 licences (or approximately 6 customers the size of Media Markt).
- Staff (hiring) is Count3r's main cost driver and assumed to be in line with the growth of sales. The recruiting is differentiated between more fixed and upfront roles (e.g. software developers, sales professionals, and marketeers), and roles directly correlating with sales (e.g. implementors, support staff).
- Other costs involve the cost of goods sold and overhead. Costs of goods sold (e.g. third-party software) are assumed to scale linearly with sales. Overhead costs (e.g. selling expenses) are growing in line with the number of staff employed.
- Large retailers often demand favourable payment terms. The cash flow consequences have been taken into account in the financial model. It assumes most retailers to pay only after 60 days, and Count3r's average payment terms to be less than 30 days.
Investments so far
Count3r has been funded for almost €600.000 by management, informal investors, formal investors, customers and government grants.
- Delft Enterprises (Investment fund of Delft University of Technology): €250.000
- Private Investors: €170.000
- MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group: €100.000 (convertible loan)
- Government grants: €75.000
Count3r is looking to raise €250k to increase the number of customers and grow our team. Our stretch goal is €400k or more, to speed up (international) expansion and further improve our product offering. The different funding goals and corresponding investment plans are described below.
The Smart Store is more than technology alone. We want to make retail better for everybody: retailers, employees and customers. But in order to be really successful, we believe we need to build a community and bring all stakeholders together. Therefore, we are also inviting people to invest time, knowledge and energy and help Count3r to build this community.
Use of proceeds
The funding will be used to invest in sales, marketing and implementation of new customers. Further product development will mostly be financed from revenue. The €250k crowdfunding goal will be spent in the following way.
(For more details, see investment plan Symbid)
ROI and exit policy
Investors can sign up for our convertible loan, and convert the loan to shares of the company in a later stage or receive full repayment of the loan including 8% annual interest after 60 months.
Conversion to shares happens along with the next investment round. Investors in the current crowdfunding round can convert at a 15-30% discount, and investors of the first €150k will receive an additional 5% early-bird discount.
Various exit opportunities are imaginable. An acquisition by a retail customer or software company (e.g. ERP, POS, CRM, eCommerce, etc.) are most likely. Acquiring Count3r helps a retail company to internalize capabilities to serve today's connected customers. Software companies can vertically integrate and get a stronger presence in the heart of every sales conversation.
Additionally, Count3r offers the following premium rewards to investors:
- Investors of €20 can win one of 100 tickets for the Smart Store Community Day
- Investors of €250 are guaranteed a ticket for the Smart Store Community Day
- Investors of €1,000 receive a ticket for the Smart Store Community Day, can submit their question for the panel discussion, and are invited for pizza and drinks with the Count3r team and special guests
- Investors of €5,000 receive 3 tickets for the Smart Store Community Day, can submit a topic for a round table session with hand-picked experts, and are invited for pizza and drinks with the Count3r team and special guests
- Investors of €25,000 receive 10 tickets for the Smart Store Community Day, are invited for pizza and drinks with the Count3r team and special guests, and can select one of the following rewards: be a keynote speaker at the event, become official (corporate) partner of the event, or receive a personalized in-house Smart Store brainstorm workshop with the Count3r team.
Company specific risks:
- The agreed adoption at Media Markt is slow, or demand from other customers is low. A slow adoption at Media Markt can be mitigated by finding other customers and vice versa. The current crowdfunding round allows for at least 9 months of finding a solid source of income (or an additional investment).
- There is a booming market for retail innovations, possibly attracting other companies and creating stiff competition. Nonetheless, Count3r has an early mover advantage and focusses specifically on the sales staff support technology niche market.
- Count3r might not be able to materialize the full potential of the data-driven store, due to new and stricter European data regulations. However, this could also offer opportunities to maintain our leading position in Europe over competition from abroad.
- Legacy IT systems could slow down implementations of Count3r at retail chains. Though, Count3r already has experience with making these integrations and we assume a 6 month implementation period. In the future, we plan to hire employees with this specific expertise.
- Employees are our biggest asset. Some of the roles we expect to hire are in high demand and could prove challenging to find. One way to solve this, is by offering interesting internship positions, train them on the job, and hire the biggest talents.
General funding risks:
- The Lender agrees that its claims against the Borrower under this convertible loan agreement rank below all other, non-subordinated, claims against the Lender as referred to in Section 3:277.2 Dutch Civil Code ('BW').
- Lender issues a (subordinated) convertible loan to convert at a later stage to depositary receipts to become a shareholder of the company. Lender expects an (exponential) growth of value of the company with the possibility to sell the depositary receipts with a capital gain. However, in many situations such capital gains do take several more years after conversion to be realized. Counterbalancing the opportunity of high returns in case of exponential value growth of the company, there is a risk that investments will be lost in case of disappointing results.
- Please read carefully about the risks of investing in a convertible loan through Symbid here. There you can also obtain insight in the default reporting of Symbid, before deciding to invest.