Antler-backed shares-for-shopping fintech Upstreet is winding down

- September 12, 2023 2 MIN READ
Upstreet cofounder Christian Eckleman
Sydney fintech Upstreet, an app that enables shoppers to earn fractional ASX shares from their spending, is shutting down, less than 18 months after banking $3 million

The closure comes just a fortnight after the fintech marked its fourth anniversary on social media, having raised nearly $5 million in its lifetime.

While the Upstreet website continues to operate business-as-usual, cofounders Christian Eckleman and Sabine Tejerina emailed users last week to say they had “taken the difficult decision to close down” and “will stop promoting and distributing the fund and initiate steps to wind-up the Upstreet fund.”

The married cofounders did not respond to Startup Daily’s request for comment. Antler Australia, who backed the startup with pre-seed funding as part of its first cohort, declined to comment.

In March last year, Upstreet raised $3 million in Seed-plus funding. That round was led by Wattle Hill Capital supported by Kelly+Partners Investment Office, McKinsey & Co. Partners and private investors including MadPaws CEO Justus Hammer, Bell Potter’s Hugh Robertson, Omnilab Media chair Christopher Mapp and Wattle Hill founder Albert Tse. Black Nova is also a backer.

The premise for the business was that when an Upstreet customer shopped with a publicly-traded company they can earn fractional shares in that ASX-listing – for example, order meal kits from Marley Spoon and get a small bite of the company too. It also worked for NYSE and NASDAQ-listed companies such as eBay too.

It was pitched to companies as a way to increase customer loyalty, and for customers, the democratisation of share ownership.

During last year’s raise, Eckleman said that while the VC funding environment was challenging, they’d “been able to showcase incredibly strong returns from our retail partners in a short period and proved our model”.

At the time, the company said more than 400 Australian and international brands featured on the platform, which worked as an app and website API.

The reason the duo are shutting down Upstreet has not been disclosed.