Digital market place lands funds to fuel expansion plans

Bristol-based digital marketplace Yuup has secured a further £200,000 investment.

The funding has come from local impact investors Bristol & Bath Regional Capital and  will help the company continue growing its presence in Bristol and strengthen its expansion in Birmingham, where it launched last year.

Yuup’s online platform launched in Bristol in 2021 offers bookable, in-person events, workshops and fun group activities organised and hosted by local people, charities, or businesses.

The software uses a curator model, hiring people with expertise in a thematic or geographic area and assisting the hosts in setting up and managing the experiences and activities.

This allows new hosts to create attractive and marketable events that often open up income streams to sole traders and SMEs.

Yuup retains a 20 per cent commission on ticket sales in return for their support, marketing and managing of the online bookings and ticket sales.

In September 2021, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital approved an initial £250,000 of investment from City Funds into Yuup as equity.

As part of this investment, Yuup set out to grow its service to 60,000 experiences sold annually in Bristol, with a target of an annual sales figure of £120k and a particular focus on curating over 400 hosts from the city’s under-represented communities – identified as ‘target communities’ by City Funds.

Yuup has achieved these targets, with 26 per cent of hosts coming from under-represented communities, 60 per cent of all host income going into these communities and in total over £1.9m generated to date for Yuup experience hosts.

The tickets are also inclusively priced where possible, with 26 per cent of all experiences costing £20 or less.

Yuup experiences currently on offer in Bristol and Bath include foraging in Chew Valley, print-making workshops for kids, beginner classes with Bristol Improv Theatre, and bike repair workshops in St George Community Centre.

One of Yuup’s success stories is George Crowther from Easton, who launched his business, Buskers’ Banquet in April 2022 after meeting with the Yuup team and learning about its platform.

Buskers’ Banquet brings a fusion of food and music – two of George’s own passions – with the chef at each event speaking about their chosen dishes and background, and two musicians performing 30-minute sets.

The food is chosen by the chefs and the musicians are matched to the event location. In the last 12 months, Buskers’ Banquet has sold 798 tickets to over 39 events.

Dominic Mills, chief executive, Yuup, said: “Since launching Yuup in 2021, we’ve had phenomenal success, supporting over 400 small businesses and entrepreneurs, and bringing new experiences to tens of thousands of people.

“We have ambitious growth plans for the platform and are excited that Bristol & Bath Regional Capital has decided to re-invest in Yuup, further supporting us on the next stage of our journey as we continue to scale both the business and our impact.”

Ryan Munn, investment business development manager at Bristol & Bath Regional Capital, said: “Yuup is a real impact success story, directing entertainment spending into Bristol’s local communities and addressing economic inequalities at the same time, all backed by an incredible management team.

“A growing customer base and exciting new experiences prove that Yuup is hitting the mark. We’re excited that this further investment boosts the platform to the next level.”


Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...