Early stage investment company Antler Australia recently backed 13 startups as part of its ongoing program to build great local tech companies.
Startup Daily is sharing the details of each venture in the “Antler Investor Memos” series.
You can also meet the founders on the Startup Daily show on ausbiz.com.au every Monday and Wednesday.
This series is designed to give you a quick, sharp understanding of the startups and people involved, with many seeking follow up capital following Antler’s initial pre-seed investment.
Formation date: 2022
Stage of business: Pre-Seed
Founders: Somya Bahadur and Ali Rossi
Current investors: Antler
Currently raising: Yes
As growth in online shopping surges, many local businesses have been left behind due to the complexity of managing an online presence, the cost of deliveries, and the resources required to package each order.
ShopAssist is a marketplace that brings local shops together to offer their existing customers a single checkout and delivery service. By doing so, the marketplace creates a community of local retailers who can offer an omnichannel experience to their customers and compete with larger retail chains.
The marketplace is able to help local retailers who struggle to be competitive in the online environment by offering a virtual shop front, loyalty programs, delivery, and click and collect options, in a cost and operationally-effective manner.
While consumers can save time and money by shopping online from their favourite local retailers and connecting with shops they love in a meaningful way with personalised offers. In one order, consumers can order from multiple retailers and have the items delivered in a few hours.
Antler investment thesis
“Shopassist has demonstrated promising early traction despite playing within a competitive market,” said Bede Moore, Managing Partner of Antler APAC.
“Successful offshore versions of ShopAssist’s model certainly validate the approach and demonstrate that the opportunity to grow beyond Australia is significant. Our conviction in ShopAssist to expand its customer base and rapidly iterate its product is strong.”
Traction/milestones, to date
ShopAssist is approaching partnerships with 30 local retailers, including grocers, butchers, pet shops and other stores in Sydney. By the end of the quarter, ShopAssist is planning to expand across Australia.
ShopAssist is quickly approaching $20,000 in transaction volume.
Explore ShopAssist’s pitch video and investor deck via The Antler Portfolio Reveal Platform.
Pre-Seed from Antler
Use of funds
Antler’s initial investment will support ShopAssist to launch new features on its upcoming mobile app, which the team anticipates will significantly increase its customer reach and operational efficiency.
The founders say
“As delivery companies flood the market, our focus is different. We help local retailers seamlessly convert their consumer’s offline buying experience into the digital world as customers can connect with the retailers they love and not have to worry about paying a premium for shopping online,” said Somya Bahadur, co-founder and CEO of ShopAssist.
“Our marketplace model means we do not have to buy any stock or hold any inventory, we do not have warehouses, trucks or logistics needs. Our goods come from existing retailers who already have stores, and their own inventory and our shoppers are on-demand.
“Antler has been more than an investment partner. Its expert coaching from the early stages helped us define our go-to-market strategy, which proved very successful. The guidance on how to set up the company the right way was also very valuable to us, with the added benefit of a peer founder network to share our learnings.
“Antler continues to assist in determining our strategy and define our focus on meeting the right investors to help us grow.”
Antler, a global early-stage VC, recently showcased the latest investments it’s made in ambitious Australian founders and startups. ShopAssist featured as one of Antler Australia’s newest portfolio companies.
Explore how ShopAssist’s marketplace connects consumers to local shops with a single checkout across multiple shops via the Antler Portfolio Reveal Platform.
- StartupDaily is the official media partner of Antler in Australia.