Earlier this year, BBRC finalised a £250k equity investment in Yuup, a marketplace for local experiences.
Yuup was founded to help people find and book things to do in their community – and as a result, to help local businesses earn money and find new customers.
Yuup make it easy for hosts to set up and sell experiences. For some, experiences are their main business. For others, it’s a new source of income. Yuup also enable individuals to become hosts, creating a way for them to share their passion and make money from their expertise. And for customers, Yuup make it easy to find and book a diverse and ever-changing collection of experiences.
We spoke to Dominic Mills, Co-founder and CEO at Yuup, to find out more about what saying “Yuup” will mean for Bristol.
What social or environmental problem is Yuup trying to solve?
Yuup wants to generate income for small independent businesses. It’s our plan to reach hundreds more potential experience hosts in Bristol and Bath – helping our region become more vibrant and resilient, as well as generating income and jobs for local people and the communities that need it most.
How do your commercial goals connect to the impact you want to make?
Launching Yuup in Bristol has been an incredible experience.
When customers and hosts connect with Yuup, everyone wins. We’re proud to be doing our bit to make communities across Bristol more vibrant and more resilient.
By making it easy for people to become hosts, we bring new supply into the market all the time. More than 25,000 consumers have booked an experience with Yuup, 320 hosts have joined our platform and together we’ve generated £650K of income for local people and businesses.
Why did you seek out impact investors, rather than pursue typical sources of investment?
We want to make a positive impact on the communities we work with – helping people discover new things to do in their local communities and individuals and businesses find new ways of generating income. Partnering with an impact investor is a natural fit with this mission.
How are you going to use the funds, and how is that going to benefit Bristol?
We are fundraising to support growth – scaling up our community in Bristol and launching in a second UK regional city. Both objectives will significantly benefit Bristol by generating income for Bristol people and businesses (our hosts) and direct employment as we scale our Bristol-based team to support expansion into many more cities.
What do you know now that would prove to be valuable later?
How much of a challenge it is to balance fundraising with doing the day job! We were fortunate in that we had evidence of the market before we started fundraising. We just needed to find the right investors. Figuring out those touchpoints from a networking point of view is incredibly important. Unbeknownst to me at the time, writing leadership and opinion pieces was to prove later to be very valuable. It helped gain introductions which, in turn led to making connections with investors. Any time you can elevate your brand, and yourself as a founder, as a thought leader is well worth it when it comes to fundraising.
What’s next for Yuup?
Our plan is to take Yuup to 10 more cities across the UK in the next 5 years – which means we’ll be able to offer experiences to more than 30m people. And that’s just the start… we’ve identified 50 further cities across Europe where Yuup can connect independent businesses with adventurous customers.
We know that amazing things happen when people say “Yuup”. Businesses flourish, friends spend more time together and communities thrive.
Business Name: Yuup
Mission: We help build vibrant, resilient communities by providing people with exciting things to do locally, generating sustainable income and employment for thousands of people and businesses.
Value proposition: Yuup is a marketplace for local in-person experiences
Legal form: Private Limited Company
Amount and type of investment: £250k equity investment (part of a larger £1m raise including angel investors and also a crowd raise in partnership with CrowdCube)