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Aussie commerce startup EQL bags new funding, to boost AI Smarts

Melbourne, Australia – Australian hype commerce startup EQL has announced it has raised AU$25m in funding from Insight Partners, a global software investor 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. 

Since its launch, EQL has established itself as one of pioneer platform for the hype economy. It was designed with a keen understanding of the challenges retailers face when launching high-profile products, such as sites going down, payment issues arising due to the sheer volume of orders being processed at once, or customer backlash due to scammers and bots emptying out stock.

Footlocker, Sullivans Cove whisky, and Crocs are just a few of the early adopters of the platform in managing limited release product releases since it launched a year ago. Limited-edition Jordans and highly sought-after Croc collaborations can be sold through EQL, which connects businesses with loyal fans. Starting out in the sneaker industry, EQL has since expanded to include premium brands in clothes, liquor, and accessories. It also plans to enter the gaming and ticketing industries in the near future.

EQL has supported over 1,000 launches to far, connecting millions of eager fans with items they love. The funding comes from investors who are market leaders in digital commerce, platforms, and fan engagement, such as Guillaume Pousaz’s Zinal Growth, Harry Stebbings’ investment fund, 20VC; Sam Kroonenburg, Founder of A Cloud Guru; and Michael Rubin’s family office, CEO of Fanatics and co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Andrew Lipp, CEO and co-founder of EQL, said that EQL started from a shared passion for fairness. As avid sneaker fans, they are sick of missing out while others scored in droves.

“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,” Lipp said.

Lipp added, “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.”

AJ Malhotra, managing director at Insight Partners, commented, “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.”