London-based theUp.co is said to be building technology to shape the future of hospitality. It gives operators the tools to help grow their businesses and provide the soundest experience for their customers.
theUp.co has now secured £7 million in funding in its second investment round. It is basically the parent company of Europe’s largest phone charging network ChargedUp, hand sanitiser station network CleanedUp and venue operator platform and mobile order and pay app ServedUp. Jägermeister, former CEO of Monzo, Tom Blomfield and JamJar Investments – the ex-Innocent Smoothie founders fund participated in the funding round.
As per the company press release, theUp.co will use the investment to support the expansion of their hospitality “super app”. Also, it will use the funds to fuel expansion across the UK and Europe and hire fresh talent.
Commenting on the investment, the former CEO of Monzo, Tom Blomfield said “Bars and restaurants were hit really hard in the pandemic, and some sadly closed. It’s wonderful to see them now reopening, and our cities coming back to life. I’m delighted to be a backer of ChargedUp, a company that’s playing an integral part in that recovery by making it incredibly quick & simple for customers to order and pay. I think Hugo and Charlie are going to build a really special company.”
Christoph Goeken MD of Best Nights VC, the innovation and investment unit of Mast-Jägermeister SE, added, “We backed ChargedUp to build a digital and physical network in hospitality venues and with the launch of ServedUp the team has taken this further to achieve the best night out experience, with technology at the core”.
Super app coming in 2022
Notably, the new full-service platform will combine ServedUp and ChargedUp and integrate hospitality operators and customers under the ChargedUp brand. This new super app will be launched sometime this year. Serving over 35,000+ venues across Europe, the duo hopes the fusion of hospitality services and technology will build on its two million users on ServedUp and the one million customers using ChargedUp.
“By unifying all of the brands under ChargedUp, we believe we can empower consumers and the trade through a full suite of digital solutions,” explained Up.co chief executive, Hugo Tilmouth. The businesses were totally different, but at their core, they were both venue-based, with our network as the common thread. Getting people on board with this vision and understanding why it was valuable for the company has been instrumental in our success,” he continued.
The duo hopes that the combination of cutting-edge tech and relationships with powerhouse beverage brands will enable them to continue leading innovation within the sector as it recovers, representing a formidable force in the industry.
Success amidst pandemic
Founded by Hugo Tilmouth and Charlie Baron in 2017, theUp.co upgrades the hospitality experiences by developing new solutions to help consumers order, pay and socialise. In 2017, d ChargedUp was launched with a network of 3000 charging points across 50 European cities. It lets customers rent a mobile charging pack from one destination and return it to another.
In July 2020, the founders of theUp.co partnered with one of the world’s largest producers of spirits and beers. This was possible by providing sanitiser kits free of charge to pubs and restaurants throughout the UK this raised the bar and the company manufactured 25,000 units in nine days to help pubs reopen safely.
Inspired by the bike-sharing model, ChargedUp grew and generates over £1 million in a month. It teams up with global leaders in the beverage alcohol industry. The brand secured lucrative deals with Greene King, WeWork, Stonegate, and DoubleTree by Hilton and inking a five-year deal to provide a network of stations in Europe’s two largest shopping centres – Westfield London and Westfield Stratford.
The other brand under theUp.co – CleanedUp raised investment from Sir John Heggarty’s, The Garage fund and JamJar to help turn their mobile charging stations into hand sanitiser bays. CleanedUp quickly secured major contracts with Transport for London, Costa, Crossrail, DHL and Hello Fresh.