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Saturday 21 May 2022

Upstock digs into NZ grocery, targets Aus for 2022

2nd July 2021 By Bridget O'Connell | | @foodtickernz

Wholesale ordering app Upstock is deepening its reach into New Zealand’s retail sector via an integration with one of the country’s largest supermarket groups, before looking for new opportunities both here and across the ditch.

The platform, which is led by a number of Xero co-founders including Philip Fierlinger, has been operating since 2019 as an online marketplace and order management system connecting food producers with foodservice and retail businesses.

Buyers use Upstock for free, while food and beverage suppliers are charged $1 per order.

Co-CEO Philip Fierlinger

Co-chief executive, Fierlinger, told the Ticker it has products from hundreds of suppliers listed on its wholesale marketplace and is used by thousands of buyers including restaurants, cafes, pubs and grocery retailers.

Upstock was now preparing to roll out an integration with Foodstuffs after working closely with the supermarket group, in a move Fierlinger said would smooth out orders for the swathe of food businesses who sell to the the co-op.

“[The plugin] was another obvious way we could help suppliers streamline their entire operation, by handling and simplifying orders from Foodstufffs and bringing them into Upstock so there’s just one place where they manage all their orders.”

Fierlinger added that suppliers typically paid thousands of dollars to develop their own Foodstuffs integration and then hundreds per month for the service, but Upstock could now provide that functionality “for a tiny fraction of the cost”. The final charge to suppliers for the add-on service is to be confirmed.

The plugin is currently being used by pilot customers and would be rolled out more widely over the second half of this year and then scaled up over time.

Fierlinger confirmed that Upstock planned to build an integration with Woolworths New Zealand orders, “plus a wider range of other integrations across various other channels to market, including the major distributors”.

While New Zealand remained the focus for Upstock this year, Fierlinger said the company would turn its sights to the Australian market in 2022, and likely undertake a second capital raise to fund this growth.

In 2020 the platform, which was originally conceived by drink company Foxton Fizz owner Matt Watson before Fierlinger and former Xero CPO Duncan Ritchie bought in in 2019, completed an oversubscribed capital raise of $3.5m.

Investors included Icehouse Ventures, along with startup founders from Xero, Campaign Monitor, and Pepperstone among others.



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