Anthemis Insights
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Anthemis Insights

Why We Invested: Upkeep

As an early stage investor at Anthemis, I continue to be intrigued by companies that present embedded finance opportunities in both the short term and on their longer-term road map. I’m also obsessed with identifying cultural trends and matching businesses to those untapped white spaces.

That’s why I’m excited to share our latest investment in Upkeep, a marketplace tackling the rapidly evolving $113bn (ref) medical aesthetic market.

Upkeep is an on-demand platform to book your next-gen facial, laser hair removal, filler, or botox appointments quickly and with a highly-vetted provider. Its transparent pricing and the availability of different payment options, such as BNPL for longer-term treatments, make these services more affordable and accessible. I was recently able to book an on-demand Hydrafacial at a 5-star spa in New York City — on the day of the service — in literally 4 clicks through Upkeep.

Apps such as Classpass, Instacart, Glamsquad, and many more have trained consumers to increasingly expect convenience and instant access to an ever-expanding array of services.

However, even as medical aesthetics has become mainstream, the options to research, book, and pay for these treatments has remained incredibly outdated.

Upkeep’s founding team realized the potential of building a dedicated marketplace for medical aesthetics, taking into account the industry’s high AOV, its sticky booking patterns, and its evolving user demographics to create a solution that authentically speaks to consumers and improves their experiences.

Millennials and Gen Z now account for 50% of medical aesthetics industry revenues, shifting consumer perceptions from anti-aging to everyday aesthetics — as exemplified by the “Zoom Effect” and Transparency in Beauty trends. As the aesthetics industry expands, the need for increased accessibility and a network of safe, vetted MedSpas offering high-quality treatments will also grow with it.

Any provider interested in onboarding to Upkeep undergoes a 50-point checklist for credibility. Checks include confirming each provider’s certifications, their ownership of top-tier devices, and their use of reputable pharmaceuticals for treatments. Providers must also sign a one-year exclusive with Upkeep.

For providers, Upkeep offers an integrated booking system dedicated to expanding their business to new clientele, which includes easy payouts, rewards programs, revenue insights, and instant visibility. Upkeep works to consistently offer the most curated, vetted, and highly-rated MedSpa providers on its platform, taking the research work out of the equation when booking an appointment or trying a new service.

Social media (and more specifically, the TikTok generation) has had a huge impact on making cosmetic dermatology accessible, and desirable, to a larger customer base. To address this growing interest, Upkeep recently introduced flexible financing options directly in its app.

This service will help meet the demands of Gen Z consumers exploring cosmetic dermatology for the first time. New consumers are often lured by the cheapest price, but this often means hiring unvetted and unskilled providers. We’ve supported other startups building tools and software to facilitate access through unique payment models and pricing options, and Upkeep’s flexible financing fits this expanded access model.

When the team met Tiffany Demers, Upkeep’s founder and CEO, we were immediately impressed with her market expertise, her overall vision for the possibilities of her business, and her ability to repeatedly hit significant business milestones.

Where many just see gloss and glam, Tiffany is building a business on fundamental unit economics. She continues to lead the company’s growth into new markets, after initially launching in LA and recently expanding into New York City. More cities are on the horizon, bringing more possibilities for new types of users, such as business road warriors, bleisure (business + leisure), and hospitality concierges, to name a few.

If you’re in New York City, LA, Orange County, San Diego, or Miami — or traveling to those cities in the near term, try Upkeep for yourself! Gone are the days of putting yourself last. Check out UpkeepBeauty.com or visit the App Store to download on iOS devices.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or opinion or a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your physician or a qualified health care provider can determine whether a treatment or a new health care regimen is appropriate for you. Neither Anthemis Group nor any of its officers, employees, or agents accepts any responsibility for any use of the information contained in this article.

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Katie Palencsar

Renaissance woman. Founder. Investor. Early Stage Builder @anthemis