Upgrade Pack is the scaleup that’s disrupting several industries simultaneously.
We help financial services clients give their most valuable customers a compelling loyalty benefit. We put work-life balance at the heart of employee benefits strategies for our large employer clients. And we aid our airline and hotel partners with their ancillary revenue targets.
From a business idea conceived on a flight, to a multi-million pound global operation, in little over a year. Find out how we're scaling globally.
Our first international office, in Singapore, was announced in September 2019. At the heart of South-East Asia - and in prime position to serve APAC as a whole - we're delighted to make the Little Red Dot our new home.
Led by Toby Berger, as COO for APAC, the Singaporean office - and new team - will come to life in Q4 2019, ready for client launches across Asia in Q1 2020.
We closed our Seed round on 1 August 2019, announcing total funding to date of £3.4m / $4.1m to the market.
In addition to the funding news, we announced that prominent entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist David Brownlow would join the Board as Chairman.
Our first-to-market, revolutionary, and one-of-a-kind platform was completed in June 2019. Proprietary, bespoke, and 100% built for upgrades, it offers users the ability to upgrade any flight and any hotel room with any of our airline and hotel partners globally.
In May 2019 we welcomed more than 400 individual investors from leading crowdfunding platform Seedrs, investing a total of nearly £600k in the Company. Smashing our original target of £500k, in just two weeks.
Upgrade Pack reached 20 team members at the start of April 2019. With a diverse, multi-cultural, experienced team; we were delighted to reflect users from all around the world.
We're specifically pleased to have hired a balanced team in terms of gender too - with a 55:45 Female:Male split. Something that's almost unheard of in the FinTech sector.
Users are at the heart of what we do at Upgrade Pack.
Whilst most of our users are members because they are the customer or employees of our Clients (banks, credit card issuers, and large employers), we wanted to test a direct-to-market B2C approach as well.
Launching a Beta program, we released a limited number of invitations publicly - selling out three times in 24 hours. Today, our Beta group stands at around 1,000 people around the world.
Upgrade Pack made history in December 2018, becoming the UK's first technology company to give every employee equity via EMI (Enterprise Management Incentive) share options.
Looking to the John Lewis and Waitrose model of employee ownership, we believe everyone involved in making Upgrade Pack successful should share in the company's success.
In June 2018 the Upgrade Pack office was opened, the first ExCom ('Executive Committee' - our name for our senior team) members started their new roles, and the wider team started arriving.
First clients, first partners, and an incredible team of investors (creating a £1m Pre-Seed round - over-subscribed to the tune of £1.94m) all backed Upgrade Pack, ready to see what 2019 holds for the company.
It's lonely building a company! When Craig looked for a Co-Founder, he knew exactly who to talk to. Having worked with Urchana Moudgil previously (when he was CIO and she was FD at Blue Rubicon, which was sold to Teneo), he knew she'd make the perfect Group COO partner.
Food playing its part again; a sushi dinner cemented their working partnership, the company was incorporated, and Upgrade Pack was born.
After a successful IPO on London Stock Exchange's AIM market, Craig decided he wanted to build an entirely new type of company.
One that combined all of his previous experience - travel, technology, corporate loyalty, and employer benefits - to build something that hadn't been done before.
Over xiao long bao in Hong Kong, he decided to build Upgrade Pack.
Now Chief Product Officer at a global provider of concierge services, Craig continued to be immersed in the loyalty and rewards sector.
Working with large banking and corporate clients, he was building technology platforms that rewarded the most valuable customers and employees of each. The idea from that New York flight never far from his thoughts.
As Chief Customer Officer at Global Blue, the tax free retail platform, Craig worked closely and extensively with travel providers and financial services brands.
He saw airlines and hotels consistently left with premium product capacity; and how banking brands wanted to invest in unique and innovative reward solutions for their most valuable customers.
Flying in to New York, our Founder and Group CEO - Craig Unsworth - hit on an idea.
He saw how to use marketplace technology to bring together three of his favourite subjects: people who love to travel; unsold airline and hotel inventory; and innovative companies seeking a new reward product.
He sketched out an initial idea for what would eventually become Upgrade Pack.
Former CPO at Ten Lifestyle Group plc. Prior: CCO at Global Blue, CIO at Blue Rubicon, and Global Digital Lead at WPP plc. Education: Harvard Business School (Executive) and MIT (Executive).
Former Finance Director at SEEN Group, Shine Group. Group Financial Controller at Blue Rubicon and Freuds. Chartered Accountant (ACCA). Education: Edinburgh Napier University (Accounting).
Founder of Huntswood Group, Co-Founder and Chairman of Havisham Group, Vice-Chairman of Campaigning for the Conservative Party. Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO). Deputy to The Lord Lieutenant of The Royal County of Berkshire.
Co-Founder and Managing Director of Havisham Group and NED at Huntswood Group. Bristol Business School (International Business Studies with Spanish) and Universidad de Granada.
Founder & CEO, Decoded Consulting. Prior: Managing Director of Creative Futures and Group CTO at Karmarama (Accenture), Nice Agency (Founder), Adobe, TH_NK, and Hewlett Packard. Education: Newcastle University (Computing Science).
Executive at Adyen. Former President EMEA at AIMIA. Mentor at Wayra. Prior: Nectar (Co-Founder), Loyalty Management Group, and Air Miles. Education: Harvard Business School (AMP) and Universiteit van Amsterdam (Business Economics).
CEO at Recordsure. Former Managing Director and Executive Committee Member at Coutts. Prior: IdenTrust, RBS, NatWest, and IBM. Education: University College London (Economics & Geography) and Imperial College (MBA).
In addition to Craig Unsworth and Urchana Moudgil:
Former SVP Production at Somo. Prior: Discovery Networks International, Scottish Media Group, NTL, and EMAP. Education: University College London (History specialising in Eastern Europe).
Former Senior Technology Architect at Infosys. Prior: SapientNitro and LBi (both now Publicis Groupe). Education: Nottingham Trent University (Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence).
Former Business Director at DLKW Lowe (now Mullen Lowe). Prior: Rapier (Client Partner), CHI& Partners (Managing Partner), McCann Erickson, TBWA Worldwide, Grey, and J Walter Thompson.
Former Google Lead in APAC. Prior: Ignite Media Group, Expedia, Canwest, and The Globe and Mail. MBA from Ivey Business School at Western University. University of Western Ontario (Psychology).
General Manager of The Fife Arms in Braemar, Federica Bertolini, talks to us about the hotel's journey from major renovation 'gamble' to a luxury Highlands retreat and haven to art and culture, that's resulted in it being named The Sunday Times Hotel of the Year, 2019.