Australian-founded startup Fast has announced it will cease operations, ending a one-touch payment system which once hoped to challenge Amazon for global e-commerce supremacy.
In a statement posted on the company’s Twitter account Wednesday afternoon, Fast founder Dominic ‘Domm’ Holland confirmed the “difficult decision to close our doors”.
“I will be forever grateful to the Fast team, our investors and the sellers who shared our vision for improving the system of buying online,” Holland added.
In a separate Twitter post, Holland said he took “responsibility” for the “decisions made that lead to this outcome,” while encouraging other Silicon Valley-based startups to hire staff impacted by the closure.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
— Fast (@fast) April 5, 2022
Founded by Holland and Allison Barr Allen in 2019, Fast promised to provide online shoppers with a single payment profile which could be used, instantly, across participating e-commerce retailers.
The product mirrored Amazon’s one-click ordering process, which Fast aimed to deliver for retailers across the market.
The “incredibly pervasive” and “streamlined checkout experience” helped Amazon attain its US market share, Holland told SmartCompany in 2020.
That declaration came three months after Fast secured $30 million in Series A funding to expand its operations.
A subsequent $131 million Series B funding round arrived in 2021. Featuring heavyweight investors like payments fintech Stripe and Addition, Holland said those funds would empower Fast to “aggressively go after every major online seller in Australia, the US and the planet.”
PitchBook recently valued Fast at US$584 million ($777 million), NPR reports.
Online shopping is broken. Fast fixes it. pic.twitter.com/iZ4gloRksB
— Fast (@fast) March 25, 2022
The sudden end of Fast comes amid a broader tech-sell off, which has pummelled the share price of other online payment systems like Square and Shopify since last year’s highs.
Cost of living pressures are also mounting, with inflation likely to slow some of the online purchasing habits formed through the pandemic.
At the same time, digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay have won over consumers seeking convenience at the digital checkout.
But speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, insiders with knowledge of Fast’s internal operations claimed dimming investor sentiment was only part of the story, with unsustainable revenue taking its toll on the startup.
The Information reports Fast generated US$600,000 ($798,000) in sales in 2021, despite the company’s public aspirations of global dominance.
Holland confirmed to the Chronicle that waning investor appetite and lacking revenue were the cause of Fast’s closure.
“Sometimes trailblazers don’t make it all the way to the mountain top,” Holland said in his personal Twitter message.
“But even in those situations, they pave a way that all others will follow.”
Editor’s note: A prior version of this article incorrectly stated Addition Capital was involved in Fast’s Series B raise. The correct firm was Addition, a separate entity.