Website: hikeup.com
Category: Smart Living – Retail Tech
Location: Australia

What initially seemed like a lengthy and time consuming process, provided us with a network we could rely on, a detailed roadmap and a launch plan for Japan.

Hike allows retailers to centrally manage inventory and sales for multiple outlets including online store and marketplaces. By combining various sales channels, sales management, record keeping and reports are streamlined which increases efficiency and saves an average of 40 work hours per store. It’s a feeling of flexibility and ease that retailers can pass on to their customers.

Interview with Hike

What does Hike do?

Hike is an omnichannel retail management system designed to address challenges and opportunities faced by today’s retail sector. Hike enables multi-platform selling, data automation and integration between various sales channels. In turn, Hike not only saves more than 40 work hours a month per store but it also improves data transparency and provides actionable insights.

How did you/the founders come up with the idea?

Having operated a web design agency since 2006, Hike founders have been designing ecommerce solutions for retail business owners for years. During this time, they learned that retail no longer meant just selling in stores. Retailers were competing on marketplaces, eCommerce and at exhibitions. However, retail management software was designed for in-store sales only. They saw this as a gap and opportunity in the market and decided to design a retail management solution that could help retailers easily sell on multiple platforms and channels. This vision led to Hike’s birth in 2014.

Could you tell us a bit about you and your team?

Hike is a team of 38 qualified team members consisting of software developers, UI designers, sales professionals, retail experts and marketing gurus. The management team alone has a combined experience of 50+ years in Software development, UI design, marketing and sales.
Hiren Savjiyani holds double MBAs in finance and marketing and has worked in retail and IT industries. In 2006, Hiren capitalised on his IT expertise by launching his own IT consultancy Klixmedia, turning it into a successful software development agency. For over 8 years, Hiren and team provided world class software solutions to the largest organisations in Australia before pivoting the company to Hike in 2014. For over six years now, during week days Hiren heads the software development, marketing and Asia growth at Hike. On weekends, you could find him bike riding around south east suburbs in Melbourne.

What are the other alternatives to Hike?

While retail management solutions have been around for 30+ years and there are 1000s of retail software options in the world, Hike’s cloud-based omnichannel platform concept is new and innovative. As such there are very few other solutions that could be seen as a true competition. For example, Shopify is Hike’s partner in eCommerce spectrum while their POS solution is Hike’s competition. Vend is another major competition in the US market. Hike’s strength is its team’s knowledge of the retail sector, 24 hour free customer service and very competitive pricing.

Who is your target customer?

Retail businesses of all shapes and sizes ranging from 1 to 100+ outlets are Hike’s target customers.

How does your product make a difference to the industry?

Hike makes it possible to manage in-store, online and marketplace sales using just one software. This, in turn, also brings all sales channels related to reporting into one software for better visibility into business operations. Behind the scenes, Hike automates 100s of processes and data transfers which helps an average retailer save 40 hours a month. This provides retailers with a competitive edge they require in today’s fierce competitive retail sector.

What are the milestones for Hike?

Hike has grown from a small Melbourne-based business to an international startup with customers in 40+ countries. Hike has zero debt in its balance sheet and is already delivering handsome profits with no venture capital sought as of yet. The Hike team is hopeful of using the Demo Day as a big platform to Japanese retail sector giants.

Why did you start targeting Japan?

Japan is one of the biggest and most advanced economies of the world and without a doubt a leader in technology. Hike is available in 12+ languages including Japanese. So, having worked with and received its features and concept validated by small retail businesses in Japan, it was time to start discovering corporate partnership opportunities in Japan. While we were considering a few other markets for discovery alongside Japan, it became easier to choose and prioritise Japan entry when we received an opportunity to attend Startupbootcamp Scale Osaka.

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Rainmaking Innovation Japan (RMIJ) is an entity owned and operated by the Rainmaking Innovation group in Japan. Currently RMIJ operates the Startupbootcamp Scale Osaka program with corporate partners Hankyu Corporation, JR West Innovations, Dentsu, The Yomiuri Shimbun, SMBC, JT Group and Sakura Internet.

Rainmaking’s purpose is to help individuals, companies and societies solve big challenges by unleashing the power of entrepreneurship. We utilise our team of experts, global network and local team on the ground to bring value to Japanese corporations.

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