When the PM-promoted digital wallet was getting Indians used to scanning QR codes to make payments, little did we know that within a few years, we would be ‘QR-coding’ menus in restaurants. With ‘contactless’ becoming the new norm in a post-Covid world, dining out is set to become an entirely different affair — servers in PPEs, diners in masks and gloves, sanitisers on every table and a reduced chatter through 3-ply cotton masks. Naturally, all players are jumping in to make the most of these changing habits. Zomato and Paytm have recently announced they are introducing contactless in-store solutions. But, a small fintech company has already beat them to this race.
Meet DotPe — a fintech company founded in 2019, by former PayU co-founder Shailaz Nag with colleagues Gyanesh Sharma and Anurag Gupta. The start-up has on boarded 7,000 outlets across six major cities and is in talks with another 5,000 (See: Touch me not). A few of them include Starbucks, Barista, Haldiram’s, Smoke House Deli, Chili’s and The Social.
With an aim to provide retail tech to offline merchants, Nag and his co-founders decided to offer more than regular billing software. From their experience at PayU, they understood the merchant ecosystem’s concerns and realised that most merchants had basic understanding of the e-commerce marketplace (just Amazon and Flipkart) at a time when WhatsApp had wide adoption (of nearly 400 million users). They sensed an untapped market potential. Therefore, they raised $8 million in seed funding from Fosun Group and Info Edge Ventures.
First, they approached the restaurateurs to integrate