StarStock is an online B2B platform which enables pubs & bars a route to buy directly from the brand owner.

StarStock is currently awaiting closure pending final checks.


The story


The alcohol wholesaling market is worth approximately $13bn in the United Kingdom. Despite the market size, public houses, bars, and other alcohol vending premises are struggling to meet costs with allegedly 1 in 5 establishments reporting financial distress.

StarStock is seeking to address these issues by developing a service that puts purchasers (pubs & bars) directly in contact with brand owners and producers, alleviating the financial strain on the former while returning brand equity to the latter alongside other benefits such as data, ROI and reduced credit terms.

StarStock is a B2B drinks marketplace connecting brand owners directly with pubs and bars. By removing the middle-men such as wholesalers, the brand owners are able to pass this saving onto their customers. StarStock is focusing all its attention on helping publicans and licensees not just survive but thrive.


Picture of Sam Ulph, Founder and CEO of StarStock

Founder and CEO Sam Ulph is an ex-professional rugby player who joined the industry in 2005 with the launch of Magners Cider of Ice. He went on to work for a number of brands through the sales agency Box marketing before joining Molson Coors in 2010. Out of a desire to help pubs thrive not just survive, and to fix the lack of price transparency and inefficiencies in the drinks marketplace, Sam founded StarStock in 2012.

The lead investor

Picture of Matt Penneycard, representing lead investor for StarStock, Downing Ventures

Representing the lead investor is head of Downing Ventures, Matt Penneycard. Matt joined Downing in 2014. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in Law, Matt started his career in venture capital as one of the early hires at Octopus Investments in 2002. After four years with Octopus and two years at Hermes Private Equity, Matt moved to the US in 2009 and co-founded DTI Capital, a technology focused VC investment firm based out of New York.

What investors say


'We target & invest in high growth tech, science and digital startups in London which have undergone thorough due diligence by at least one of our co-investment partners.

We made our investment decision along with Downing’s deep review of the StarStock technology and business plan and their decision to follow their initial investment. StarStock’s senior team have an in-depth knowledge of the industry and are well positioned to rapidly accelerate growth of their model in 2018.

We are greatly encouraged that StarStock are already generating revenue in both the Marketplace and their API White Label products. In our opinion this antiquated industry is ripe for disruption. The consolidation of the wholesale channel leaves a huge gap for a technology disrupter to remove the costs of the middle-men and provide a direct solution for the Brand Owners to make more margin and deliver more value to their customer base'

– London Co-Investment Fund


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