Uptime – a free app that presents expertly curated five-minute Knowledge Hacks of the world’s best books, courses, and documentaries – has raised an £11.5 million seed round to bring its platform to more users globally.
Founded by serial entrepreneurs Jamie True and Jack Bekhor with former YouTube and Facebook executive Patrick Walker, Uptime was created “to empower people to gain easy access to the world’s best ideas and thrive in a fast-changing world”.
The free app, which counts Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco, as an investor, uses a combination of advanced machine learning and human curation to identify only the very best books, courses, and documentaries from the most reputable sources, ranging from the New York Times bestseller list to the most relevant courses and Academy Award-winning documentaries.
The essence and actionable insights of knowledge from these sources are then distilled into five-minute ‘Hacks’. Each one is designed to keep users informed, entertained and inspired while saving them time, effort and money.
Uptime is available on the Apple App Store now and will be live from 22nd February on the Google Play Store.
Uptime’s visual story Hacks are presented as fun, engaging and shareable snippets consisting of a unique mix of text, photos, videos, audios, and animations. Presenting the knowledge and information in this way makes it easier to digest, remember and share.
Scientific research has found that people remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear and 30% of what they see – but when information is presented in a way that combines these, as Uptime’s visual story hacks do – the retention rate averages 50%.
At the end of each Hack, the user is presented with the option to buy the book, watch the full documentary or sign up for the course from the original source.
In this way Uptime creates additional distribution opportunities for authors and content creators, giving them another way to reach new audiences and markets.
“At a time of unlimited access to information, we all need a place for safe, curated knowledge. On Uptime there is no fake news, there is no doom scrolling, there is no fluff,” said co-founder Patrick Walker.
“We only select sources of knowledge and make recommendations with fresh perspectives from authors and creators our users can trust, and on topics which matter most to them.”
Oobah Butler, journalist and author of How to Bullsh*t Your Way to Number 1, added: “My brain has turned to bad spaghetti over the past year. Too much sauce; not enough sustenance.
“Discovering Uptime has been great for me. Distilling books and schools of thought so I can get to the heart of it and understand it. Better yet, my mom loves that people are getting my bullsh*t advice by reading my book on Uptime.”
Investor Leahy, who also invested in True and Bekhor’s last venture, LifeWorks, said: “There’s a lot of hyperbole in the world of investment, with apps and services being described as the ‘next big thing’, but when it comes to Uptime, I truly believe Jamie, Jack, Patrick and their team are building the future of learning and knowledge hacking.
“From the team’s mission to enrich people’s lives with knowledge, to the combination of advanced technology and the unique way hacks are presented, I knew straight away that this is an investment that I wanted to make.”
The funding will be used to reach new audiences, expand product development and scaling the content library.
At launch, Uptime will offer more than 1,500 Knowledge Hacks from books, courses and documentaries with more titles added every week. At launch, Uptime’s app is free to use and is available to download on the Apple App Store.