Hello, UpKeep

Back in July, I closed my second chapter with Ticketmaster to join a startup called UpKeep. Here’s why I believe this is one of the best career moves I’ve ever made, and why I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this amazing team!

What drew me to UpKeep were the following five distinct factors:

#1 The Purpose

At UpKeep, we believe in making the lives of the underserved labor around the world better through technology. Now THAT’S a transcendent purpose and an admirable quest rife with possibilities. The way the company’s driving toward that purpose right now is by focusing on making the lives of service workers better with a mobile, easy-to-use workflow product to help them manage and maintain physical assets, like big mechanical machines at oil refineries or home appliances at rental properties.

To be part of such a quest rooted in helping those left behind by technology do their jobs better, and ultimately live better and have the peace of mind they deserve, is HUGE. Being part of companies that have a strong sense of purpose is something that matters a great deal to me. UpKeep fits that bill perfectly.

#2 The Business

The startup scene in Los Angeles is exploding. Startups are cropping up in every sector imaginable — ranging from biotech to fintech to entertainment and real estate. What drew me to UpKeep in particular was how solid it was in so many areas, including:

Financial Health

UpKeep closed their series A round for $10M led by Emergence Capital back in March 2018. That brought the company’s total funding to $13M. What’s exciting here is that UpKeep, unlike many startups, has been revenue-generating from day 1 with a very healthy cash flow and burn rate. The financial stability of this fast growing company signaled strong economics to me. So far so good.

Strong Demand

Enterprise SaaS (Software as a Service) that’s solving a pressing need has massive appeal in the marketplace. Slack, Dropbox, and Shopify are examples of that strong product/market fit. For UpKeep, the demand for the product the company’s built is massive, and that’s directly correlated to the state of the competition, the simplicity of the product itself, and the price point at which it’s offered.

With over 2500 companies on the platform, ranging from McDonald’s, Marriott, Unilever, JET, Yamaha, USDA, to property management firms and independent contractors, the product is being used by over 250,000 technicians, managers, COOs, and reliability engineers on daily basis. With over 10M underserved workers in the US alone, UpKeep has just scratched the surface in terms of reach and has been growing at a pretty good clip quarter over quarter.

Low CAC

The effort and cost it takes to onboard new customers is a critical factor in the scaling phase of a company. With UpKeep, the inbound demand is incredibly healthy and anyone can download the app and start using it right away. No need for custom installations or fancy setups. It’s pretty easy to use.

It’s also easily deployable to other countries and languages. Right now, we have international customers in France, Canada, UK, India, Australia, UAE, Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, and China, and looking to grow even more in those markets and beyond. This low overhead will continue to be critical as we scale big in the coming months.

Overall, the business is pretty solid and the market opportunity is over $4B. UpKeep is well positioned to take on more of that market share with its mobile-first product offering, low customer acquisition cost, and affordable subscription model.

#3 The Culture

Perhaps the most important factor that tipped my decision in favor of UpKeep was its culture. The company’s core value statement is an actual rubric that can be used by everyone in the company to make decisions. I know it’s easier to control the culture when the company is small, but as we continue to grow fast, the expectations we sow today are the behaviors we reap tomorrow when we’re +1000 employees.

The focus on the customers over revenue value, my favorite of all, is felt throughout the company every single day. It’s not hyperbole or grandstanding. It’s genuine and practiced by all. As someone who cared deeply about fans and how we served them at Ticketmaster, this culture felt like a perfect fit for me where I had a real opportunity to add to it in a positive way.

#4 The Founder

When the recruiter called me about UpKeep, I wasn’t really interested at first until I spoke to Ryan Chan, the founder and CEO. Ryan’s passion, vision, and business acumen turned me into a believer. He was someone I wanted to work with. He exhibited integrity, respect, and true passion for the customer, all of which were important to me.

#5 Personal Challenge

My experience has always been at big companies working on products of massive scale that served public consumers (e.g. car shoppers, fans, developers, etc). I’m looking forward to bringing my experience of how to build scalable consumer products and run big teams to the world of B2B SaaS.

At the end of the day, there’s always a consumer at the receiving end of every product. All products are B2C. In our case, the consumer happens to be employed by companies that buy our products. That doesn’t change the fact that we’ll continue designing those products for the very people that will actually use them.

At UpKeep, we believe in making the lives of the underserved labor around the world better through technology

It’s also an opportunity for me to learn all that it takes to scale a business 10x or even 100x or more. How to take a company public. How to work with VCs. How to raise rounds of funding. I find it all fascinating and I’m learning every day.

I’d love for you to join me on this amazing journey. I’m currently building out the team that will help us grow the company in product, engineering, and design. I’m looking for confident, humble, and passionate humans who believe in our quest. It won’t be easy, because nothing worthwhile is, but I guarantee you it’ll be a lot of fun ☺️ If you’re interested, check out our current job openings.

Here’s to the exciting adventure ahead! 🚀🎉🙏🏼

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I think in stories, and sometimes I write them down.

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Ismail Elshareef

Ismail Elshareef

I think in stories, and sometimes I write them down.

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