By Mark Lange, Director EU Institutional Relations, Microsoft
Success stories from Greece are welcome news, and it is with pleasure that we would like to feature Intale as the July edition of European Cloud SME of the Month. Intale is using the cloud infrastructure to provide a service to small shop owners that helps them digitize their businesses and become more efficient and productive.
In 2010, Fanis Koutouvelis and friends, while studying computer engineering at the University of Thessaly, were inspired to create a software to help digitize Greek kiosks and convenience store point of sales systems. They developed a device called “i-kiosk”: a state of the art retail platform that helps their customers (small shop owners) manage their shops effectively. The software serves as a sales output data aggregator where data is collected at a transaction level. This data is collected and fed in real-time reports to merchants on how products are performing, how to better manage inventory, when to offer promotional discounts, and furthermore to help collect insight into consumers purchasing behaviour. Intale provides a web-app through which the suppliers get market insights from the merchants’ point of sales software (aggregated data) and based on this information they optimise their supply chain processes.Intale became a very compelling startup story, and Koutouvelis and his team have inspired the growth of other startups in Greece. They have stirred the idea for founders and Venture Capitalists to launch and finance startups to stimulate the Greek economy by creating new job markets and opportunities. Koutouvelis is also a founding member of the Hellenic Start-Up Association to help kick-start innovative entrepreneurship in Greece.
Intale is supported by the Microsoft BizSpark program. All the data rendered through i-Kiosk’s platform is aggregated through Azure cloud. With the ease to scale to demand, Intale has been experiencing a growth rate of 100% per year since its launch. In Greece there are currently hundreds of small retailers utilizing Intale’s technology processing 40 million transactions with a value of 150 million euros. Intale has made waves in Greece, and they have gained a lot of visibility by participating in several competitions. They placed first in the E-nnovation 2011 Competition in Athens University for Economics and Business where this competition is sponsored by the Microsoft Innovation Centre. Intale also placed first at the “i-bank Innovation & Technology” award for 2012, held by National Bank of Greece.
In the coming months, Intale plans to expand internationally to Cyprus. In terms of industry expansion, the startup has plans to explore the Quick Service Restaurant/Restaurant industry, as the backbone of the point of sale system remains the same. Intale’s goal is to bring transparency to the traditional retail market place. Every day there are billions of transactions made between unknown customers and unknown merchants, where merchants cannot gauge the action and relation behind the consumers purchasing decision; Intale’s technology aims to bridge the gap between enterprise and merchants.