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Funding

Xero cofounder’s hospitality B2B marketplace hits Australia after $5.5 million raise

- June 30, 2023 2 MIN READ
Upstock directors Duncan Ritchie, Matt Watson and Philip Fierlinger.
Upstock directors Duncan Ritchie, Matt Watson and Philip Fierlinger.
A Kiwi B2B marketplace for the hospitality and food service industry developed by a cofounder Xero has crossed the ditch to Australia after raising NZ$6 million (A$5.5m).

Upstock is the brainchild of Duncan Ritchie and Philip Fierlinger, who was part of the 2006 founding team of ASX-listed accounting platform Xero.

The raise was backed by Icehouse Ventures, Possible Ventures, Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1, and NZVC, along with founders from marquee tech firms including Vend, Karbon, Campaign Monitor and Sharesies.

Fierlinger said his e-commerce platform promises to transform the way hospitality industry operates, providing a superior networking channel for buyers and suppliers to do business.

“Upstock eliminates manual logistics processes and provides a new channel to market giving smaller, artisanal hospitality, food and local grocery suppliers access to a targeted network of big supermarket chains and restaurant buyers,” he said. 

Since launching in New Zealand in 2020, more than 20,000 buyers and nearly 1,000 suppliers have used the wholesale ordering site. Revenue quadrupled in 2022 and Fierlinger is now looking for fresh funding to expand into the US market.

Upstock is ready to shake things up in Australian hospitality and food service,” he said.

“The industry is still feeling the devastating effects of the pandemic and now an economic slowdown has hit the industry hard. We believe Upstock will play an important role in supporting new and existing hospitality and food service businesses to get back on top.

“The platform dramatically simplifies and streamlines operations for both buyers and suppliers – increasing a company’s overall sustainability and profitability – all while making day-to-day tasks much faster and easier. Not only does this platform help artisanal suppliers get their products into more supermarkets, restaurants and stores it also encourages buyers to purchase more locally.”

It uses freemium pricing structure and doesn’t charge any upfront setup fees or take a commission on orders from suppliers.

It’s free for both buyers and suppliers to handle all their orders and only charges $1 (or less) to suppliers who want advanced order management functionality.

 

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