Impact success story: Bristol-based digital marketplace, Yuup secures further £200K BBRC investment
Yuup secures further £200k to support Bristol growth plans
Bristol-based digital marketplace Yuup has secured a further £200k investment through local impact investors Bristol & Bath Regional Capital to 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. Yuup 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 enables new hosts to create attractive and marketable events that often open new income streams to sole traders and SMEs. Yuup retains a 20% 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 £250k 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% of hosts coming from under-represented communities, 60% 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% 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 cuisine 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.
George Crowther says:
“Yuup has been integral in being able to get Buskers’ Banquet off to such a flying start, helping every step of the way, from making sure the copy for each event page is succinct and helpful for our customers, to providing varied and personal marketing strategies to get the word out there! There are so many amazing locally-based chefs and musicians in Bristol that are yet to be discovered, and these events aim to surface their talents in a unique intimate setting. It is really exciting to see new faces at each event; and this growth is only possible through the wide reach of Yuup.”
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.”
Bristol & Bath Regional Capital CIC
Bristol & Bath Regional Capital is the West of England’s first home-grown, place-based impact investor and is focused on unlocking funding and support for purposeful businesses, charities, housing and social enterprise.
Its place-making approach means that investment is channelled into the region’s economy, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits, which it believes creates a healthier and more resilient local economy.
Yuup is a marketplace for local experiences, helping people find and book fun things to do in their local community and local businesses find new customers and revenue streams. Since launching in 2021, Yuup has sold 80,000 experiences generating over £1.9m for local enterprises in Bristol, Bath and Birmingham.
By providing people with a platform that helps them find exciting things to do locally, Yuup is facilitating the generation of sustainable income and employment for the people and businesses that give cities their own unique identity.
See the Yuup website for more details.