Future 50: Upside enters TechStars accelerator

Upside savings online savings platform

Upside is growing rapidly - and the Tech Stars programme, like Future 50, will boost that progress - Credit: Upside

Future 50 member Upside has been accepted into the prestigious Tech Stars accelerator programme. “It’s like being sent for Marine Corp training,” says CEO Andries Smit. “They break you down to the smallest possible points to help you to focus on what actually creates value and what's just noise. Then they build you back up.”

After an application process that took months and several stages, the Norwich-based financial services business was one of less than a dozen companies selected from the hundreds that had applied. “It already feels like we are nine to 12 months further ahead in two weeks, just in our clarity of thinking, our language, our positioning,” says Mr Smit.


The Future 50 programme is supported by the partner businesses - Credit: Archant

The Upside proposition – helping users save money by giving them cashback when shopping normally, either online or in store – was already well defined and the business is growing rapidly. Mr Smit says user numbers have increased ten-fold in the past 11 weeks. 

“Every one of our core metrics from a consumer front-end perspective is holding up to be true,” he says. “We are using TechStars to validate the other side of our marketplace, which is all about our proposition to our corporate partners.

Upside CEO Andries Smit

CEO Andries Smit says Upside can benefit small local businesses as well as national chains - Credit: Upside

“It has helped us already, making us very clearly articulate what that b2b proposition is, identifying who we need to speak to, how we need to speak to them, what we need to have ready and so on.”

As well as national chains like Aldi, Boots and Costa Coffee, Upside works equally well for smaller businesses. Food company Rocket presented A Cook’s Tour, its online cookery class, through Upside and saw a dramatic increase in uptake from people who had seen it on the app. 

“Normally their marketing costs to get that kind of boost would have been huge, but it cost them nothing to list on Upside,” says Mr Smit.

For more information, see www.upsidesaving.com

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