StarStock - up 73%

StarStock is a platform that allows licensees to order food and drinks stock directly from the brands that create them.

In brief

  • 120+ major brands on-boarded, including Diageo, ABI, Asahi, Coca-Cola, Britvic, Fever Tree, & Bacardi
  • 2000+ registered on-trade customers
  • Exclusive commercial relationship with Morrisons selling >1,800 products via StarStock
  • Targeting >£35m in revenue by YE2024
  • Strong moat through data and tech in a low-tech industry with incumbents struggling to compete due to legacy operating systems and inflexible supply chains
  • Live discussions are in play with StarStock’s global logistics partner, who are looking to replicate this model worldwide, starting in key markets in Europe
  • Strong ESG credentials, including a system to take multiple trucks off the road as the company scales.

The company

StarStock is a B2B marketplace platform which enables licensed venues to order directly from brand owners and manufacturers. The platform's principle goal is to help licensed venues save money and perform better, and introduces a modernised, tech-driven marketplace and supply chain system to a traditionally low-tech industry. Sellers can sign up to access the StarStock online marketplaces, or rapidly create their own bespoke ecommerce platforms using its proprietary technology.

The importance of managing sales margins and taking control of supply chains was made particularly apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when pubs, bars and restaurants were among the hardest hit by declining sales. Using its platform, StarStock launched a not-for-profit site during the lockdown called My Pub Shop, to help support venues with generating revenue.

Founded by industry veterans Sam Ulph & Phil Newton, StarStock is supported by an advisory board including Mervyn Davies (ex-Diageo NED), Alan Stewart (Diageo NED), Neil Griffiths (Ex-COO Punch Taverns), Brian McBride (Ex-Amazon UK MD) & Ivan Shenkman (Ex-Founder PSL).


The numbers

Access invested in StarStock in April 2020, co-investing alongside a super angel with a flat average CAGR of 59%. Their previous investments include Carwow, Wejo, Oxitec, and many others.

Insights from the Founder, Sam Ulph:

SyndicateRoom: How are you feeling about the progress StarStock has made so far, and what are your plans for the future?

Sam Ulph: We have made incredible progress and we’re only just getting started. We have built a team and a culture within the StarStock Group that I am so proud of. We are now trading with 95% of the UK’s major drinks brands & we will soon be at 100%. We have opened up a new B2B Route To Market for Morrisons to sell into the On-Trade. It's truly incredible what the team has achieved.

We have large ambitions for the StarStock model, and have already began discussions to open up this platform in other markets.

SR: What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to deal with?

SA: All our biggest challenges have been outside of our control. Where do I start…. We were originally due to launch the StarStock platform just before Covid hit in March 2020. After developing a foodbox platform for Asda and then developing a B2C proposition to support the industry (, we came back to the launch this “StarStock” platform in 2021, which landed at exactly the time of the driver shortage, followed by the labour shortage, then the petrol crisis, then Omnicrom variant.

While this has been the most challenging part of our business to date, we are still growing & thriving.

SR: How important has VC funding been?

SA: Keeping a high growth tech business like ours well funded is of course incredibly important. Disruption isn’t easy, but with the right VC’s who have the same vision, it makes funding conversations much easier. We are well past proof of concept now. This is about funding for scale. This is the fun bit!

SR: What’s the next key milestone you’d like to hit?

SA: 100% Major Brand Owners by the end of Q3.

SR: What are your main goals for the next 12 months?

AS: Continue to be the No.1 B2B platform for food & drinks in the UK & expand into 1 European market.

SR: If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently as a founder?

SA: Nope.

SR: What advice would you give to other founders in the early stages of starting a business?

SA: Be patient, you’ll get there. Nothing difficult is ever easy.

Find out more about Starstock on their website.

Find out more about our fund, Access EIS.

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