Australian hype commerce startup, EQL, today announced that it has raised AUD $25 million in funding. With support from global software investor Insight Partners and Australian investor AirTree Ventures, the new funds will fuel the company’s growth as it strengthens its global sales and customer teams, as well as further develops its infrastructure and AI smarts.
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Already live in nine markets, EQL is the world’s first and fairest hype commerce platform. Built from a deep appreciation for hype drops, the EQL platform allows retailers to address problems universally felt within high heat product launches such as sites crashing, payment chaos created by demand, or backlash sparked by scammers and bots clearing out stock.
The company has experienced quick international growth since its launch last year – early adopters such as Footlocker, Sullivans Cove whisky and Crocs use the platform to manage their limited release product launches. EQL enables them to get their products like scarce Jordans and highly sought after Croc collabs into the hands of real fans.
To date, EQL has supported over 1,000 launches, connecting millions of hopeful fans with products they love. The funding includes support from investors who are market leaders in digital commerce, platforms and fan engagement including Guillaume Pousaz’s Zinal Growth, Harry Stebbings’ investment fund, 20VC; Sam Kroonenburg, Founder of A Cloud Guru; and the family office of Michael Rubin, CEO of Fanatics and Co-Owner of the Philadelphia 76ers.
“EQL started from a shared passion for fairness. As avid sneaker fans, we were sick of missing out while others scored in droves,” said Andrew Lipp, CEO and Co-Founder of EQL. “When we decided to build the platform, our focus was on creating more fairness. This is still our truth today. As we’ve grown, we’ve always focused on how we can give fans better access to the products they love.”
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Continued Lipp, “By using EQL, we’re giving brands more control of their limited release product drops and supporting more meaningful interactions with fans. This is something the market hasn’t experienced before. With us, they can own their hype and harness it. This is creating a new wave of commerce.”
While initially focused on pain points in the sneaker space, EQL now also supports luxury brands across apparel, alcohol and accessories, and plans to soon expand into gaming, ticketing and the digital collectives space. This vision, and the platform’s impressive rate of growth in a global market, is what attracted Insight Partners.
AJ Malhotra, Managing Director, Insight Partners said, “Avid and loyal fans can’t get their hands on products fast enough – and that hype can create a number of technical challenges for e-commerce retailers. EQL’s innovative platform is helping mitigate and prevent these challenges by creating seamless product launch experiences that give retailers more control and fans better access to the products they want. Insight is thrilled to partner with Andrew, Patrick, James and the entire EQL team on this exciting next chapter in the company’s growth journey.”
John Henderson, General Partner, AirTree Ventures said, “Andrew, Patrick and James’ pain comes from an authentic place. They were frustrated that they couldn’t get access to products they love. Todays’ e-commerce infrastructure can’t always handle the hype heat, but EQL now can. We were delighted to fund them and help turn EQL into what it is today; a fully fledged ecosystem working with global brands.”
“We’re thrilled to have the best of the best both locally and abroad,” added Lipp. “With the support of Insight, AirTree and many incredible angels, we’re intent on helping the global hype community, and safeguarding fairness for fans across the world, well into the future.”