Zeid Husban is out to convince businesses to switch from traditional point-of-sale (POS) technology to POS Rocket, his cloud-based solution with a customizable interface.
By Nada Atieh
Cloud-based POS systems have been used by businesses in the United States and Europe for nearly a decade. According to POS Rocket founder and CEO Zeid Husban, this software solution is long overdue here.
Husban wants his POS Rocket platform to empower merchants and businesses, allowing them to seamlessly monitor and optimize their operations in real time. The company is currently operating in Jordan and Egypt.
Husban is the latest Jordanian entrepreneur to be selected into Endeavor’s global network during Endeavor’s Seventy-third International Selection Panel in Beirut. He’s also the cofounder of ifood.jo, an online food-ordering platform acquired by Delivery Hero in 2016.
What is the POS Rocket and how did it come about?
POS Rocket is a cloud-based POS platform that’s designed to help small-to-medium- sized businesses sell and grow more. Traditional POS systems require merchants to have an actual server in their shop. If they want to access data, they must have a firewall, a static LP, and a VPN connection. It’s an ancient way of handling transactions and connecting to the outside world. The idea behind POS Rocket came while I was at ifood.jo, the food-ordering platform that I cofounded in 2012.
We faced an issue of how to transfer an order from the customer to the restaurant through a GPS machine similar to the Visa machine that prints out the order. The restaurant owner has to accept the order and then put a delivery time on that order. This was very inconvenient. There’s a human interaction here and the margin of error is really huge. Another thing is when a restaurant wanted to update a menu, they updated it on their system and forgot to tell us that they updated the menu or their prices and things like that so we were having outdated menus on ifood. These two issues made me think that there must be a better way to communicate between our service and these restaurants since they are online and are connected.
How did you go about creating and validating the software?
I knew I would be exiting ifood in December 2015 and I signed the contract giving me seven to eight months to leave the company and hand it over to the new investors. During that time, I started thinking to pursue the POS space, and reading a lot about it. I looked in the region and there wasn’t such a solution ready, then I looked outside the region in the United States, Canada, and Europe where this cloud point of sale has been there for up to eight years.
I went to Cairo with a friend for a week in March 2016 to scout the market because Cairo has a huge market gap for small-and-medium-seized businesses.
We talked to business owners, restaurant owners, and retail owners and saw the need for such a solution there. We came back at the end of march and started development at the beginning of April 2016. Within two months, we had our first minimum viable product (MVP). In June of 2016, we installed the software at a restaurant here in Jordan to test it and then we took feedback for a couple of months and enhanced the software. We released our first version in August 2016.
How do you see your product developing?
One of the main reasons why I joined Endeavor is because I had experience only in Jordan, we did not scale before so now with POS Rocket wanting to scale, I need some mentorship regarding what to do and what not to do to make the road shorter. There are no boundaries in connecting with people through the network.
What challenges are you likely to face in the future?
The biggest challenge in Jordan is a challenge and an opportunity at the same time. Jordan is a very small market compared to other markets in the region so you can’t build a business to stay in the Kingdom. You must scale really quickly. But Jordan, on the other hand, is excellent for market validation, because it’s a small market with good, affordable talent. That’s why we were able to come up with a product, test it, and validate it here and then take it to Egypt. Now hopefully, next year we hope to take it to the GCC with a proven, validated product. We just secured funding which will help us because we validated the product in the market here and have experience as well so with this funding, we will be able to expand into other countries in the GCC.