‘Super app’ to help hospitality bounce back from omicron
TheUp.co has raised £7m to expand its network of sanitiser stations, payment hubs and smartphone charging stations to help hospitality bounce back from the pandemic.
A hand sanitiser and mobile payments firm is planning a “super app” to help pubs weather the pandemic
The company, called TheUp.co, has raised £7m to expand its network of sanitiser stations, payment hubs and smartphone charging stations to more bars and clubs while including all its services in a new app. All to help hospitality bounce back.
Tom Blomfield, the former boss of Monzo bank, is among the backers, alongside Jagermeister and JamJar Investments, the fund created by Innocent Drinks creators Richard Reed, Adam Balon and Jon Wright.
TheUp.co consists of ChargedUp, Europe’s largest web of phone charging stations; CleanedUp, the hand sanitiser station network; and ServedUp, a mobile ordering and payment app.
More than 35,000 pubs, clubs and bars across Europe are using the company’s services, including two million users of ServedUp and one million of ChargedUp.
Many pubs were forced to stay shut or limit opening hours in the run up to Christmas as the omicron variant kept drinkers away during what would normally be the best season for hospitality. More than 400 pubs closed for good this year.
Co-founder Hugh Tilmouth said: “By unifying all of the brands under ChargedUp, we believe we can empower consumers and the trade through a full suite of digital solutions.
“Ultimately, we want to make hospitality as frictionless and data driven as e-commerce – think of it like the Amazon GO of hospitality.”
ChargedUp, which was launched four years ago, allows punters to rent a mobile charging pack at one venue before dropping it off at another.
The pair grew the business to 3,000 charging points across 50 European cities after striking deals with Greene King, WeWork, Stonegate, DoubleTree by the Hilton and the Westfield shopping centres in London and Stratford.
However, the business was forced to diversify during the pandemic when lockdown measures caused vast swathes of the hospitality industry to temporarily close.
It prompted TheUp.co to shift into hand sanitising hubs, which sparked contracts with Transport for London, Costa and Hello Fresh.
Mr Blomfield added: “I’m delighted to be a backer of ChargedUp, a company that’s playing an integral part in the [hospitality industry’s] recovery by making it incredibly quick and simple for customers to order and pay.”
The original version of this article was first published on The Telegraph
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