We already told you something about Leaf.me, a service that allows businesses and their consumers to get more out of their everyday transactions. This Cambridge based startup now has some exciting news-it raised a $20 million strategic investment from Heartland Payment Systems, a publicly traded payments processing company with $2 billion annual revenue.
According to All Things D Leaf will use this investment for research and development for hardware and software, as well as some new hires to their 50- people crew.
But it is not just about the money that will help Leaf significantly. Not long ago, the company had less than 1,000 customers and now it has Heartland’s huge and invaluable base of small-business customers at its disposal. And those customers can, in turn, benefit greatly from Leaf.
Hardware & Software Solution
Leaf.me creates software that allows small businesses to easily track and analyze their in-store transactions and access that information anywhere from the cloud, making them more mobile and up-to-date. It also makes and sells its own tablet running a modified version of Android system. The company charges businesses $250 per tablet and $50 a month for its service.
It does not process the payments itself, but lets users choose from one of several payment processors, including some of Heartland’s competitors. They will not, however, discontinue their collaboration with them, regardless of their deal with Heartland.
In fact, Heartlands own CEO admitted that he is a fan of the open approach.
Speaking of open approach, Leaf is also building an open platform which other developers can use to make their own apps, and this is what Heartland found most appealing.
Heartland Customers Might Switch Over to Leaf
When Heartland did a bit of shopping around, looking for the best platform they combed through Leaf’s competition and found that Leaf did in fact have the most modern architecture. It turns out that they also had a common philosophy: Leaf allowed merchants to do business with any number of vendors so that merchants could get exactly what they wanted.
Heartland first signed on as a reseller of the Leaf system and then invested in the company. If things go well, the company plans to ultimately retire its own point-of-sale product and recommend to its customers to switch over to Leaf.
In order for this to take place, Leaf should develop its service and technology to suit all categories of businesses Heartland collaborates with. One of the biggest categories is table-service restaurants, 60,000 of which are Heartland’s customers in the US.
Heartland is will also integrate some of its payroll technologies into the Leaf POS system, according to Carr, so it is great news all around for Leaf.
Big congrats to Leaf.me team!