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Upstreet, the Antler-Backed Fintech Offering Shares for Shopping, to Close Down

The decision to close came just two weeks after the company celebrated its fourth anniversary on social media, having raised almost $5 million during its lifetime.

While the Upstreet website continues to operate normally, co-founders Christian Eckleman and Sabine Tejerina sent an email to users last week, announcing their “difficult decision to close down” and stating that they would “stop promoting and distributing the fund and initiate steps to wind up the Upstreet fund.” However, the married co-founders did not respond to requests for comments from Startup Daily.

Antler Australia, which provided pre-seed funding to Upstreet as part of its initial cohort, declined to comment on the situation.

In March of the previous year, Upstreet secured $3 million in Seed-plus funding, led by Wattle Hill Capital with support from 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 was also among the backers.

The core concept behind Upstreet was that when a customer used the Upstreet app to shop with publicly-traded companies, they could earn fractional shares in those ASX-listed firms. For example, by ordering meal kits from Marley Spoon, customers could also acquire a small portion of the company’s shares. The platform extended this concept to NYSE and NASDAQ-listed companies such as eBay. Upstreet pitched itself to companies as a means to enhance customer loyalty while allowing customers to participate in share ownership.

During the funding round last year, Christian Eckleman noted that although the VC funding environment was challenging, they had “been able to showcase incredibly strong returns from our retail partners in a short period and proved our model.” At that time, the platform featured over 400 Australian and international brands, functioning as an app and website API.

The exact reasons behind the decision to close Upstreet have not been publicly disclosed.

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