Fowl play: CBA-backed ecommerce site Little Birdie shuts down

- May 17, 2024 2 MIN READ
Furopean wildcat holding dead bird
Birdie num num.
Little Birdie, the online retail marketplace developed by Catch founders Gabby and Hezi Leibovich, and backed with $30 million in pre-Seed funding from the Commonwealth Bank, has shut down.

In an email sent to customers just after 5pm on Friday, May 17, the company said the retail product price comparison site has “paused operations”.

“For now, this means we are turning off our website, app and extension experiences,” the dormant URL now says.

“We are working on an improved format to deliver our AI shopping tool. In the meantime, this unfortunately means you can no longer use Little Birdie.”

The company said it had 10 million visits, helped more than 3 million shoppers and “uncovered” more than $45 million in savings for users.

But despite the record cash injection from CBA this time three years ago, taking a 23% stake in 2021 that valued the business at $130 million before the retail deals marketplace has sold a single product, and the wisdom of legendary siblings in the online retail space, something has gone awry.

The Melbourne venture was cofounded by Jon Beros, a former Catch Group executive who previously served as general manager of Scoopon and Catch’s luxury travel brand Bon Voyage, as well as GM of Latitude Pay.

The Leibovich brothers had a 10% stake.

The startup pitched itself as “shopping reimagined for the digital age. With a team of buying professionals and partnerships with the biggest and hottest stores in Australia, we provide a bird’s-eye view of all the best deals currently in-market as well as brokering exclusive deals just for our Little Birdie members.”

It supposedly price checked more than 70 million products for the best offers available, allowing users to choose stores, brands and even other members to follow.

A new browser extension was launched last June, with Beros claiming in November that they’d had “remarkable uptake”. The platform used AI for price comparisons and worked as an app and browser extension.

And it had the power of Australia’s biggest bank behind it and access to its retail customer base of 11 million people via the CommBank app.

Startup Daily contacted Little Birdie and CBA for comment but they did not respond.