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Hopso & Grocery Software Upstock Attracts Oversubscribed Capital Raise, Expands Globally

Published: Wed 8 Jun 2022 03:17 PM
High growth startup Upstock, makers of software for hospo & grocery, has announced its latest funding round, netting over $5m in an oversubscribed capital raise that’s been left open due to continued investor interest. The company has elected to extend the raise up to a maximum of $6m with the final close date set for the end of August, though it’s on track to close much sooner.
Upstock is a marketplace for hopso & grocery buyers and suppliers. It’s used by thousands of restaurants, cafes, bars and grocery markets – along with hundreds of their food and beverage suppliers. The business has customers across New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.
The startup was founded in 2019 by Philip Fierlinger, Duncan Ritchie and Matt Watson. Philip was previously a co-founder of Xero, where he collaborated closely with Duncan who was Chief Platform Officer. Matt is the Managing Director of the iconic kiwi brand Foxton Fizz.
Upstock experienced massive growth despite the pandemic hitting hospitality so hard. In 2021, customers and orders grew over 1,000%.
“Most hospitality businesses and their suppliers still use pen and paper, email and spreadsheets to manage wholesale orders. It’s a mess, burning up time and money for both the buyers and the suppliers. The shift to digital is inevitable and it actually accelerated during the pandemic. As soon as customers experience the major time and cost savings using Upstock, they don’t understand how they ever did business without it,” explains Co-CEO Philip Fierlinger.
Best Ugly Bagels uses Upstock in all its restaurants, plus all its bakeries that supply Foodstuffs supermarkets. Mike Lawrence, Brand Manager says, “It’s a much more streamlined process for both us and for the customer. It’s given us much better visibility of what's been ordered and far less paperwork for our teams. Our accounts people love that the whole team enjoys using it because it means all the information they need is right there. For some of the out of town places that we supply bagels to directly – because Upstock is so simple to use – they've been able to build up their usage of bagels. Which is great for growth.”
Investors include venture capital firms and angel groups Icehouse Ventures, NZVC, Enterprise Angels, K1W1. Other major investors include tech founders from NZ, AU, UK and the US – among them are the founders of Xero, Vend, Sharesies, Karbon and Campaign Monitor.
Vend founder Vaughan Fergusson says he was familiar with the opportunity firsthand, “Working with retailers at Vend, we saw a major technology gap in the way wholesale orders were managed. It always frustrated me. So when I saw the solution Upstock created, it was obvious why they were getting such awesome traction, and why their customers are so passionate about the product. I knew I had to get behind it in a big way.”
Upstock plans to use the funds to fuel expansion in Australia and the US. It’s also expanding its current team of 16 full time employees, with the intention to keep the overall company size under 30 staff for the foreseeable future.
One recent major hire is Larissa Paris, who is Head of Sales. Larissa was the founding sales person at Xero, working there for fifteen years, rising to Head of Sales for the WorkflowMax subsidiary.
Upstock also announced that investor Chad Richard will be joining as an advisor. Chad is an American tech entrepreneur who also owns an artisanal winery. He’s currently SVP of Corporate & Business Development at Yelp. He was previously at Apple, where he was Senior Director of Product Marketing.
Chad sees Upstock as a major global opportunity, “The inefficiencies of wholesale ordering are a global problem filled with friction and waste on a massive scale. Upstock reduces so much of that friction and dramatically reduces waste, which has massive economic and environmental benefits, at scale. Upstock has such a powerful and intuitive solution, with a world class team. They are building another world changing business. I’m really excited to use my experience, expertise and network to help Upstock maximize the opportunity.”
To learn more about Upstock go to www.upstock.app

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