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Exclusive: UPshow Closes $14M Series A To Create In-venue Entertainment For Retailers

UPshow, which develops interactive digital signage for brick-and-mortar brands, added $4.8 million in funding led by 4490 Ventures to close out its $14 million Series A funding round.

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Joining 4490 Ventures in the Series A was Jump Capital, TDF Ventures and the Signature Venture Banking Group. This gives the Chicago-based company a total of $17 million raised since its inception in 2015, which includes $3 million in previous angel investments, UPshow CEO Adam Hirsen told Crunchbase News.

The company offers hospitality, health venues and retailers, such as Crunch Fitness and Buffalo Wild Wings, a library of media and entertainment options to broadcast inside their locations, as well as customer marketing to help drive brand messaging and sales for customers who are physically at those locations.

What you need to know

The new funding will be used for product development and hiring so the company can continue to onboard large-scale customers with tens of thousands of locations, Hirsen said.

“We’ve seen intense growth over the past few years, and through partnerships with enterprise brands, we feel we are creating a good value proposition to help them digitize their offline environment,” he added.

On the hiring front, UPshow will continue to add to its sales and marketing team after already doubling the marketing team. It will also bring on enterprise sales representatives. The company has 43 employees right now and expects to be at approximately 70 by the end of 2021.

Meanwhile, the company has doubled its revenue every year in the last five years, and this year looks to grow by 95 percent compared with 2019, Hirsen said. Today, UPshow works with 10,000 locations and is approaching 25,000 screens where its content is displayed.

Next, UPshow will continue to go after large enterprise partnerships and help customers increase their app use and loyalty programs to drive repeat visitation.

“In hospitality, our customers are realizing that in-venue is the last frontier of business to digitize,” Hirsen said. “There is a huge opportunity to help brands take control of their in-venue environment, and we are ready to grow that and be the predominant company to help our customer accomplish its goals.”

What investors have to say

Dan Malven, managing director of 4490 Ventures, said in a statement that typically, in-venue digital experiences are controlled by companies, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter that “constantly steal attention via mobile devices.” Instead, he said, UPshow gives back that control.

“UPshow solves a problem that has been causing CEO/CXO anxiety at the largest brick-and-mortar brands in the world for over a decade,” he added. “It is an enormous unmet need.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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