TechColumbus yesterday announced that cloud-based retail solutions provider nChannel Inc. has been approved for up to $300,000 in financing from its Pre-Seed Fund.
Headquartered within the TechColumbus incubator, nChannel is developing an easy to use, cloud-based platform that enables retailers to cost-effectively synchronize and exchange sales, customer and product data from transactions that occur at the register, in the warehouse, or via a Web store. nChannel will use the pre-seed investment to accelerate its growth and market opportunity.
“The investment commitment we’ve received from TechColumbus will enable us to build and launch nChannel, but the impact of TechColumbus in helping us launch is far greater,” says Jeff Grundey, the company’s CFO. “The expertise TechColumbus brings to the table has been invaluable. They not only have helped us develop a solid business plan, but more importantly, they help us maintain the day-to-day discipline and focus needed to meet our plan’s objectives.”
The system will be sold directly to subscribers via the nChannel website, but also is available through nChannel’s network of value-added resellers. Software developers also will be able to partner with nChannel to provide connectivity from their software applications to the nChannel platform.
“Today’s retailers have the chance to sell their products through so many more outlets than were ever before possible −through their own website, through Amazon or eBay− not to mention traditional storefronts,” says Steve Weber, nChannel co-founder and CEO. “But these additional opportunities come with new challenges. How do you keep track of inventory in real-time? How do you make sure you have consistent item availability and pricing across channels? How do you ensure you’re meeting all of your customer commitments when all this information is housed in many different systems?”
The nChannel platform aims to solve those challenges for the small to mid-sized retailer by including a library of “connectors” for a variety of leading ecommerce, point of sale and financial applications. Connectors will allow nChannel to synchronize data from a retailer’s existing financial, POS and ecommerce systems providing a Web-based interface to manage product and order and customer data, as well as powerful reporting capabilities.
nChannel’s cloud-based model, available for general release in January 2012, will help retailers gain efficiencies by reducing data entry required to maintain multiple sales channels and improve sales and inventory visibility. Those capabilities will provide retailers with revenue-producing options, such as drop ship, in-store pickup or delivery services that improve customer satisfaction.
Weber and Grundey first partnered in 2008, focusing on development of the financial software synchronization practice for the retail industry.
Weber has more than 20 years experience in the software industry and is the former vice president of emarketplace outsourcing services for Sterling Commerce, a division of IBM. Weber’s experience includes building and leading teams in various roles including sales, marketing, product development, infrastructure hosting, call center operations and customer service.
Grundey is a 20-year veteran of the retail, financial services and insurance industries. He and Weber first partnered in 2008, focusing on development of the financial software synchronization practice for the retail industry.
To learn more about nChannel, visit nChannel.com.