Detroit’s UpTo Talks Traction, New Expanded Features
Detroit-based mobile startup UpTo, which aims to fill the “future void” by taking the appointment calendar and making it social, announced this week that users can now share third-party event streams with their Twitter and Facebook networks. To showcase its new functionality, UpTo launched an events stream from British shopping center Westfield, which sits in the middle of London’s Olympic Park. The events stream not only directs users to Westfield’s offerings, but also lists every Olympic event by sport.
“Westfield is our first major third-party partner,” says founder and CEO Greg Schwartz. He explains that UpTo users typically share their own calendars with their social networks, but that the company’s vision was always much broader than that. “Now people can follow event streams based on their likes and interests, hit the ‘join’ button, and instantly share while adding it to their calendars.”
Schwartz says UpTo landed the deal with Westfield thanks partly to Detroit angel investor Angel Gambino. Gambino is Westfield’s senior vice president of digital innovations. (She also happened to beat out more than 100,000 competitors to earn a spot as an Olympic team liaison—now you may understand why we think of Gambino as the female version of Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World.”) Schwartz also says that any organization or business in the world can reach out to UpTo and the company will create a customized event stream for them “in a matter of minutes.”
UpTo added the ability to access Facebook events as well as other third-party event streams in response to user feedback, Schwartz says. June was the startup’s “biggest month yet,” with users up 400 percent from May. Next month, the Android version of the app will be available, and then UpTo, which has already been backed by Detroit Venture Partners, will begin actively pursuing Series A funding. “We’re really pleased with the traction we’ve been getting—it’s even better than we expected,” Schwartz says. “The events streams add an immediate value proposition, and I think we’ll see continued growth.”