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Innovation & Job News

It's so much more than a cash register: Bethesda-based Gusto closes $2M Series A round

Gusto, a Bethesda-based company that makes point-of-sale systems for fast-casual restaurants like Elevation Burger and Halsa, announces the close of a $2 million Series A round led by Signatures Capital. Bethesda-based WealthEngine and Reston-based New Atlantic Ventures also participated in the round. The company, which was founded in 2012 by Bill Draper, will use the money to scale.

"This gives us the growth capital that we need," Draper says.  "We'll be able to take it to the next level now."

Draper is a veteran of point-of-sale technology systems, having spent nearly ten years at Micros Systems (which was acquired by Oracle in June  2014 for $5.3 billion) working on new software development. "It's a big market, it's a growing market," says Draper, of point-of-sale systems. "The challenge that big companies have—not just in their point-of-sale systems—is that they kind of become victims of their own success. It becomes harder and harder for them to make major changes when the market shifts, when technology starts to move faster and faster, which it has in the last two years. Their business models and technology get stuck."

Draper built Gusto, which is cloud-based, to integrate front-of-house, back-of-house, sales, labor management, business accounting and analytics systems, with built-in "hooks" for integration with third-party apps and systems. So if a chain wants to try out a new loyalty app or a new mobile payment system, they can integrate it with Gusto.

"Integration is a sore spot in the industry today," Draper says. "A lot of the current POS systems ... weren't designed with integration with third-party products in mind. It's a challenge for the big companies to integrate well. We're seeing so many great third-party products being built up around restaurants now. We built [Gusto] with open architecture in mind, to make that integration much faster, so if the next great mobile payment solution comes along, and our restaurant customer wants to offer that customer experience to their customers, we’re ready for it."

Gusto's current client list includes the aforementioned Elevation Burger and Halsa, as well as Flight Wine Bar and 16 Handles, a New York-based frozen yogurt chain with two locations in Maryland.

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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