LightSpeed Plans Payments System With $35 Million Funding

LightSpeed Retail Inc., a Canadian retail software startup, plans to introduce a payments system and boost its international presence with $35 million in funding from INovia Capital and Accel Partners Ltd.

The investment brings Montreal-based LightSpeed’s total to $65 million. Accel led a $30 million round in 2012.

LightSpeed builds software that retailers can use to combine in-store and online sales systems, track inventory and collect data on shoppers. Lightspeed’s customers, which include Fender Musical Instruments Corp. and Leica Camera AG, process an average of $500,000 each year in 20,000 stores, Chief Executive Officer Dax Dasilva said in an interview.

Beyond hiring new employees and opening international sales offices, the company plans to use the new investment to develop a payments platform to enable retailers to make transactions from within LightSpeed’s software instead of using third-party systems. LightSpeed is teaming up with Vantiv Inc. to build the technology, which will be available this fall, LightSpeed said in a statement.

“We want to have all of this information in the same dashboard,” Dasilva said. “When you check the point of sale data, the payments data, now you have information, you have insight. That’s real value.”

$7.5 Billion

The data give retailers a more detailed picture of each customer so they can adjust sales tactics accordingly, he said.

Founded in 2005, LightSpeed has grown to more than 200 workers from 50 in 2010, Dasilva said. Its customers processed $7.5 billion in 2013, with 90 percent of the total coming in brick-and-mortar stores.

LightSpeed is part of a wave of Canadian startups including Hootsuite Media Inc., a social marketing platform, and Shopify Inc., a maker of retail software. Dasilva said he isn’t considering taking LightSpeed public any time soon.

LightSpeed also plans to integrate with Apple Inc.’s payments system, announced last week along with new iPhones and the Apple Watch, Dasilva said.

Mobile payments in the U.S., where 75 percent of LightSpeed’s customers operate, are expected to jump to $118 billion by 2018 from $1.6 billion in 2013, according to market research firm EMarketer.

“That’s a real green field for innovation, it can actually make a difference to a retailer,” Dasilva said.

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