YouTube co-founder backs £2.12M funding of next-gen knowledge hacking app from London

Uptime founders Image credits: Uptime

COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns forced people around the globe to stay at home. However, that didn’t stop us from learning and bettering ourselves. One of the options available for learning new things from anywhere is the next-generation learning app Uptime. It offers 5-minute “Knowledge Hacks” from some of the world’s best books, courses and documentaries. The startup has garnered notable interest since launch and it has now secured £2.12 million as a part of its seed round funding extension.

Big names invest in Uptime

The latest £2.12 million investment in Uptime is an extension to its seed funding round. Notable investors such as Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty brand, invested via its HBI (Huda Beauty Investments). Chad Hurley, YouTube co-founder, and co-investor in Leeds United Football Club, Chris Messina, the inventor of the hashtag and open-source advocate, and Hollywood talent entertainment manager Mark Gillespie also invested in the company. Kattan and Authentum Partners’ founder, Jill Denham, are joining the Uptime board. 

An engaging and educational tech product

Uptime was founded by Jamie True, Jack Bekhor and Patrick Walker in 2020. “Throughout our careers in the industry, we found that there were so many apps out there that can perpetuate negative feelings and experiences and not enough opportunity for people to learn and enrich their lives, and fail to provide a great user experience,” Walker tells UKTN.

Edtech is a massive sector but one look at the offerings will remind anyone that most services on offer are transactional in nature, while being disconnected from the users. “It felt like a great opportunity to disrupt and build something better. Uptime features curated selection of dedicated content and fresh perspective from trusted experts and sources. The innovative visual format makes it easier to absorb information and it is a space free from negativity, doom scrolling and advertising,” Walker adds. 

Setting yourself apart

There’s a swath of edtech companies that offer quite similar service to what Uptime has to offer. Standing out from the crowd is thus not easy. However, Jamie True tells us how the startup accomplishes this. He notes that most edtech apps focus solely on one aspect such as delivering book content summaries or selling learning courses, which limits their ability to scale quickly. Additionally, it can be frustrating for users as well. 

“Users have to download multiple apps and remember multiple passwords. Uptime brings all this content together under one roof, so users know when they’re opening up the app they can get the key insights from the best books, documentaries and courses in one easy-to-use space,”  True says. Uptime also differentiates itself by delivering its “Knowledge Hacks” as five-minute visual stories. 

Uptime also employs Machine Learning algorithms alongside human curation for its content.  “We’ve developed a scalable, proprietary ML technology and process that helps us accurately identify the hottest and most relevant books, courses and documentaries for our audience, quickly distill their essence and key insights, and then carefully craft this knowledge into an instantly accessible 5-minute ‘multimodal’ visual format,” reveals Jack Bekhor.  

More development ahead 

Uptime will utilise its fresh funds to further develop its products, services, and content. The startup will also focus on its global growth. While the funds will surely help, the app generates revenue via its freemium model. It offers a premium version for paid subscribers to get access to over 1700 Knowledge Hacks with hundreds of new Hacks added monthly. Free users get access to an overview of every Hack, along with one complete Hack per day, which Uptime selects. 

“We also receive a small commission via established affiliate schemes when people purchase the full content from any of our content providers’ books, documentaries and courses. Up to 10% of people who consume a Hack go on to click through to the buy source. This is great for Uptime and for the publishers, authors and the content creators we work with as it is providing them with an alternative income source,” Walker notes. 

The startup currently has people from 18 countries working for them, including people who have previously worked at Bumble, TED, YouTube and Benevolent AI. They have new openings from time to time, which you can check out on their website’s career tab.