Detroit’s UpTo Pivots, Completes a $2 Million Series A Round
UpTo, the Detroit-based startup that launched a social calendar app last year, announced last week that is has completed a $2 million Series A round and has pivoted to add new features as well as a business-to-business component.
“UpTo is now a full calendar with social networking instead of the other way around,” says founder and CEO Greg Schwartz. “A lot of users wanted to use UpTo as an everyday calendar. We realized we could be highly differentiated from every other calendar.” Google Calendar and iCal are probably the two most popular calendar apps, but neither of them incorporates social sharing the way UpTo does.
On Thursday, Schwartz says the company launched UpTo 2.0 with an update based on a year’s worth of user feedback. UpTo users can curate a stream of events from their own calendars, those of friends in their network, or from the more than 5,000 public event streams featured on the app.
UpTo now includes meeting invitations, driving directions, and the ability to call the phone numbers associated with calendar appointments. There is also a new “swipe to hide” feature to remove less relevant calendar events from a user’s stream. (For instance, if you are sharing calendars with your co-workers, you probably don’t need their dental appointments clogging your stream.)
Schwartz says the public calendars are now categorized and easier to discover, and there is a new emphasis on getting the five or 10 people who are really important to a user’s life to join rather than every person they know.
As for the business-to-business component, Schwartz says it is half calendar, half marketing tool. Right now, partners with public streams can publish content directly to the UpTo platform. UpTo will also white label its calendar stream on their partners’ homepages. “Most sites have event calendars,” he explains. “With UpTo, we’ve made it easier to subscribe to a calendar and ask questions about the event right in the calendar. You can also pre-emptively check in, or time changes can be communicated.”
Schwartz says UpTo completed its Series A round Friday with a $500,000 investment from Venture Investors. Previously, UpTo raised the other $1.5 million from Detroit Venture Partners and Ludlow Ventures.
“[The $2 million round] allows us to really focus on building our sales team and the growth of B2B,” Schwartz says, adding that the company plans to hire four or five people within the next few months. “Right now, we’re focused less on selling and more on building our network,” he says. “We want to grow our customer base to the point that we look back and say, ‘I can’t believe we had calendars that were so static.’ ”
Since it was first launched, UpTo has racked up more than a quarter-million downloads and has shared more than 1 million events.