Upstreet, the Aussie fintech rewarding shoppers with fractional shares on the ASX and US stock exchanges, the NYSE and the NASDAQ, announced the close of its seed-plus funding round. The platform that builds brand loyalty through investment rewards has accrued AUD$3 million from investment funds, bringing to startups total funding to AUD$4.9 million.
Through the Upstreet app, shoppers can earn fractional ASX shares for each dollar spent with partnered retailers. Customers can continually add to their portfolios and sell their shares at their leisure, while partner brands can drive loyalty at minimal costs.
How does the Upstreet platform work?
There are over 400 retail and service partners on the platform, including ASX-listed companies, global brands, and Australian private retailers. Whenever an Upstreet customer shops with a publicly traded company they can earn shares in that ASX listing, so anytime a Marley Spoon customer orders their weekly meal kit, they can earn ASX:MMM shares.
There are even some international companies, like eBay, that allow customers to earn tradable shares on a US stock exchange. Customers shopping with private brands are rewarded with fractional shares in high performing ETFs like FANG and ASX200.
Upstreet’s platform allows everyday consumers to become owners of the brands they love, leading to an increase in spending and shopping frequency. One food retail partner on the platform has experienced incredible success, resulting in a 36% increase in customer spending with the brand and a 48% reduction in customer churn.
Once these new investors own stocks, they’re more likely to continue supporting the brands they’re investing in. “Following an extended funding round due to the COVID pandemic, the Sydney based fintech is calling this their seed-plus round,” says founder Christian Eckleman.
“When COVID put the world on pause, that also made raising capital for a new venture more challenging. We’ve been able to showcase incredibly strong returns from our retail partners in a short period and proved our model is not only causing customers to shop more frequently with our partner brands, but customers are also spending more with these retailers.”
“We want to fully democratise stock market and open new pathways. It’s a generation who aren’t waiting for the market to come to them and are embracing the idea that it’s a good thing to be invested – emotionally and financially – in the brands you believe in.”
Who are the investors behind Upstreet’s new funding?
Led by Wattle Hill Capital, Kelly+Partners Investment Office, McKinsey & Co. Partners and private investors like Justus Hammer (CEO of MadPaws), Albert Tse (Founder of Wattle Hill Capital), Christopher Mapp (Exec. Chair of Ominlab Media) and Hugh Robertson (Bell Potter).
The funding will be used to bring in new partners and deliver co-marketed campaigns to new audiences and fuel the company’s technology platform to open new investing opportunities.
“Upstreet’s platform is clean, early results for partners are positive, but importantly the idea just makes sense and there’s no one doing anything like it in Australia”, said Hugh Robertson.
“Brands are fighting to secure loyalty and shoppers are looking to get more out of the shopping experience with the brands they love; Upstreet is bridging the gap in a unique way.”
“The way Upstreet has utilised their application and expanded beyond just retail and developing sophisticated employee rewards programs showcases the versatility and opportunity of the startup,” said Albert Tse, Founder of Wattle Hill Capital.
“Coupled with their technology advancement and international expansion opportunities, it’s an exciting time to be an investor in and an investor with Upstreet.”
How can an average consumer reap from Upstreet?
Co-founder and COO Sabine Tejerina comments on her passion for Upstreet: “I’m passionate about what we do because we help people start on their journey towards share ownership. According to a study by Investment Trends, only 18% of Australian investors are women.”
“And yet, 70-80% of the consumer purchases are done or influenced by women. But this is not all of it, there are plenty of people, men and women, who do not get started with share ownership because they don’t know how, don’t have the time or the resources.”
“People can earn fractional shares merely by continuing with their normal shopping habits and get their money to work harder for them!” The Upstreet app is available on iOS and Android now, and customers can also shop via the Upstreet Google Chrome extension.