South African startup Ploiter, which has developed an all-in-one cloud-based business management software system, is expanding to New Zealand and Australia this year after gaining ground in its home country.
Launched publicly in January, the Ploiter platform incorporates and encompasses all aspects of traditional customer lead management, PoS, invoicing, payments and accounts, inventory, employee management, order handling, warehousing, customer care tools and sales reporting.
It offers upper management a direct overview of the business cycle, saving companies the cost and effort of developing bespoke in-house platforms to run all their systems on.
“Ploiter was created to prevent anything ‘falling through the cracks’ during the running of the business and removing the administrative burden away from business owners and managers, so that they can focus on what’s important for their company, such as sales and growing their customer base,” director Constantin Hatzilambros told Disrupt Africa.
It is early days, but uptake has been strong enough that Ploiter is already looking to new markets.
“South Africa is an advanced economy in African and third-world country terms, with a limited market, but we’ve made grade strides in getting users and keeping them using Ploiter,” Hatzilambros said.
The startup, which is also operating with Namibian customers, plans to expand to New Zealand in July and Australia in September, with its Australasian operations headed up by co-founder Natashia Fox.
Between 2009 and 2015, in her spare time, Fox developed a system for a distribution company in response to its need to track and process all aspects of its business easily. During 2015 she sold off her company, and looked for a new challenge. She realised the need for a platform like Ploiter, and coded it from scratch again, improving and streamlining the functionality and adapting it to a multi-company usage.
“Ploiter is based on the key business principles of running and growing a high valued company. Cashflow, knowing what your current stock values are, limiting the risk of the company dependencies on key staff, limiting owner input to the daily running of the business, and good business practices that can be scaled,” Hatzilambros said.
The Ploiter platform’s primary innovation is that it is the only software a business will need, with an entire company able to work on it, from the receptionist to the salesperson up to the delivery man.
“Currently companies use various combinations or integrations of more sophisticated and outdated systems to work on. These are bulky, complicated and expensive. Small businesses use their own spreadsheets, which do do you not adequate meet their requirements,” Hatzilambros said.
“As we both have had our own businesses before, we understand the demands and requirements that a business has, and the limited amount of time employees have during a working day.”
Ploiter has been developed to be intuitive and easy to use, allowing anyone to start working on it with little to no training or experience. It has tools running in the background to make any businesses run as efficiently as possible, which is done by removing all the complicated terminology and having intuitive user interface features that are used and understood by staff.
“Other software on the market is developed by programmers who don’t have this business experience, or insight of the daily needs of a running company. We want to be disruptive to the how things have been done in the past, showing a new way business can be run and adding value to the business operations,” said Hatzilambros.
Ploiter is bootstrapped and has not needed to seek any funding, and is charging a subscription fee of US$25 per month for a single access user and US$40 per month for multiple users.
“We have a distribution model whereby third party distributors of Ploiter receive up to 40 per cent commission, depending on the sales targets, and this has worked extremely well,” Hatzilambros said.
“The amount of subscriptions is currently a function of the marking we do to get Ploiter into the business marketplace, and as such the more money we have available for marketing, the larger our reach, and subscribers and revenue in turn. One of our future goals is to partner with a company that has distribution channels globally, especially in the non-English speaking countries.”