How we caught fire

Upside was named a 2020 DC Inno on Fire winner

July 29, 2020
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How we caught fire
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How we caught fire

We’re thrilled to have been included in D.C. Inno’s 2020 list of Companies On Fire for Lifestyle & Consumer Tech. This award recognizes “people, companies, initiatives and organizations driving innovation across the local ecosystem,” and we work hard every day to live up to that standard. 

Today’s reality is that both people and brick-and-mortar businesses have encountered difficult times. As our communities weather this storm, Upside is positioned to help people get more value for their dollar on everyday purchases and to help businesses consolidate remaining demand for their products and services. 

Our Business 

As a two-sided marketplace, we are proud of our achievements on both the merchant and consumer sides of our business. On the consumer side, transactions through Upside have grown 1,700% in the last year alone. More than 26 million users with access to our offers have earned tens of millions of dollars in cash back. This success has made Upside a top 50 Android/iOS app next to apps like Twitter, Waze, and Uber Eats. 

On the merchant side, Upside is now live at nearly 20,000 locations nation-wide, with over $1B in commerce running through the platform. Having signed three of the top 10 Fortune 50 fuel companies, Upside represents the largest fuel network in the U.S.; larger than all of the major fuel brands. This footprint has helped merchants earn tens of millions of dollars in profit, and we’re on track to double that next year. Our user base and measurable results are enabling Upside’s platform to expand into new verticals. We’re already working with a significant number of restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops on the app, and the possibilities for growth are endless.

Our People 

Even with all this growth, our proudest achievement is our team. We continue to hire during COVID-19 to make sure we can serve our millions of users and nearly 20,000 merchant partners, and bring more users and merchants onto the platform. 

With nearly 200 people world-wide, we’ve quadrupled our size from a year ago. To scale our team, we’ve designed an organization that keeps hundreds of employees aligned on common company goals when just 12 months ago we were less than 30 employees. 

And we are very thoughtful about who we bring on board. We value the richness that diversity brings, so instead of adding filters or checks at the end of the hiring funnel, we’ve broadened the top of the funnel. This removes filters from the pipeline so that more diverse perspectives make it to the end of the hiring process. 

In response to COVID-19, we moved to a work-from-home model and implemented a number of company-wide culture initiatives, including: a daily workout challenge, lunch with 60+ people on a GoogleHangout, and lunch-and-learns about lesser-known parts of our business. We also instituted new internal communications initiatives to keep everyone on the same page, complete with internal newsletters, personal video updates from the CEO, and an accelerated cadence for our CEO’s “ask me anything” sessions. 

Our Future

Our mission at Upside is to enrich communities by connecting business to people, enabling all to thrive. On our growth trajectory, we can hope to increase  the purchasing power of U.S. consumers and the profitability of U.S. brick-and-mortar merchants by over 25 billion dollars per year. Adding this much value back into our communities annually would have an enormous impact. To put this giant number into perspective, if aggregated, this value could feed more than 8.3 million people for a year, put 2.5 million people through all four years of college at a state school, or even pay the annual income of 425,000 American families. 

We’re excited about the future of our business and are thrilled that DCInno also took note! Learn more about Upside & our open positions.  

How we caught fire

The Upside Team

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The Upside team is made up of data scientists and industry experts who are passionate about delivering empowering content to our readers. With a focus on providing practical insights and meaningful perspectives, we create engaging materials across a wide range of topics. From exploring industry trends and offering expert analysis to sharing useful tips and inspiring ideas, our team works diligently to provide you with the information you need to thrive.

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