On a mission to lead innovation in the hospitality sector, London-based theUp.co has just secured €8.3 million investment from high profile investors such as Jägermeister, former CEO of Monzo, Tom Blomfield and JamJar Investments.
Founded in 2017 by two young serial entrepreneurs Hugo Tilmouth and Charlie Baron, theUp.co has been working to develop new solutions to help consumers order, pay and socialise. They also developed other companies which fall under theUp.co: ChargedUp, ServedUp and CleanedUp.
ChargedUp was launched in 2017 – providing a network of 3000 charging points across 50 European cities, letting people rent a mobile charging pack from one destination and return it to another.
Taking inspiration from the successful bike-sharing model, ChargedUp grew quickly. Teaming with global leaders in the beverage alcohol industry the brand secured lucrative deals with Greene King, WeWork, Stonegate, and DoubleTree by Hilton as well as inking a five-year deal to provide a network of stations in Europe’s two largest shopping centres, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford.
When the pandemic hit the business duo pivoted ChargedUp into a successful mobile order and pay app and hand sanitiser network – CleanedUp.
In July 2020, the entrepreneurs also partnered with one of the world’s largest producers of spirits and beers, providing sanitiser kits free of charge to pubs and restaurants throughout the UK as part of the trade recovery initiative ‘Raising the Bar’, manufacturing 25,000 units in nine days to help pubs reopen safely.
Then, in 2021, as the world tentatively began to open up again and we returned to our favourite pubs, the entrepreneurs unveiled ServedUp – an all-in-one EPOS solution combining a rapid mobile order and pay solution with next-generation POS and card payment devices, designed to streamline venues to better serve their customers.
Hugo Tilmouth, said: “Our success began as a way to help our customers. We thought, how can we do something to help our venues reopen and make sure they’re compliant? Everything we have done to date has been based on this sentiment…Based on those initial principles, we’ve grown the business and our network of customers 10x since the start of the pandemic, enabling us to reignite and move at speed with our technology.”
The new finance just announced will be invested to expand across the UK and Europe, boost hiring and build a new ‘super app’ to launch in 2022 which has the aim to create a one-stop frictionless night out from start to finish.
To amalgamate all of theUp.co’s learnings to date, the new full-service platform will unify ServedUp and ChargedUp, integrating hospitality operators and consumers under the ChargedUp brand.
The vision is to allow pub-goers to feel like a local wherever they go – facilitating discovery, booking, ordering and effortless payment, all while keeping your phone fully charged up – making sure people can get home safely and enjoy a perfect night out, stress-free.
Hugo continued: “With the new all-encompassing app, you’ll be able to discover the best spots; book them; order and pay; earn rewards from some of the world’s biggest beverage brands, all while keeping your phone fully charged while you do it. Making it as frictionless as possible for you to have an amazing day or night out.”
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.