If you are a beauty business owner, you are probably already well aware that the process for booking aesthetic treatments digitally can be outdated and cumbersome. Enter Upkeep, the first-ever marketplace for medspa owners with the aim to improve the customer experience with the first app that allows consumers to find, book, and pay for treatments online.
Launched in 2021 and founded by CEO, Tiffany Faith Demers, Upkeep was created to revolutionize the $113 billion-dollar cosmetic industry. “I began developing Upkeep in 2021, and we launched in the app store in early 2022. To create the app, and bring it into the market, I raised a small friends and family pre-seed round of about $300,000,” Demers tells me. “We’ve most recently closed a $2 million round with Anthemis & 1517 Fund to expand nationwide and build out our fintech offerings!”
As the medspa industry grows, one of the main value propositions for beauty providers who utilize Upkeep is to streamline the process of finding and converting new qualified customers.
“To date, marketplaces like Groupon have been one of the only options available to medspa owners, forcing them to dilute their own value and use heavy discounts to attempt to reach new users. We are also very selective about the treatment types and devices we highlight on Upkeep, focusing on well proven treatments that have great results and consistent customer satisfaction,” continues Demers. “For example, Artemis’s Cryoskin device is one of just a few body sculpting procedures we recommend. Therefore, when customers see a particular device is available on Upkeep, they automatically know it is the best-in-class treatment for that particular concern.”
When it comes to consumers who use the app, the value of Upkeep is helping these individuals find the most reputable service providers. “On top of that, the process of finding and booking an available appointment is also cumbersome. Modern customers are looking for easy to use digital booking options that let them quickly decide on a treatment and lock in their appointment immediately,” explains Demers. “Upkeep eliminates these pain points on both sides of the transaction - providing visibility and consumer trust for medspas looking to reach new clients and giving consumers the hassle-free experience they expect. There is no membership fee for providers to be on Upkeep, we simply take a small marketing fee for each booking confirmed through the app.”
I asked Demers how she vets potential B2B partners. “For providers, the vetting process includes a Zoom interview, we run through our proprietary 50-point checklist, and we only allow providers that own top tier devices and use reputable pharmaceuticals,” responds Demers. “Customers are only invited to join the waitlist if we have not yet launched in their city. If Upkeep is already operating in the city a person lives in or is visiting, they can download the app and start booking right away!”
I was also curious how Upkeep integrates with other software platforms. “We are integrated with all management platforms like Boulevard, so any appointments made through Upkeep automatically appear on providers’ calendars with all details on the customer and their requested treatments,” Demers tells me. “Unlike calls or emails to a provider’s front desk that might be missed, Upkeep users can book their appointments instantaneously and they will automatically be added to the medspa’s appointment calendar in real time.”
One of the most important aspects of the business that Demers has learned throughout her entrepreneurial journey is how much the demographics are changing for beauty location owners. “Celebrities are increasingly sharing more on social media about the treatments that are a part of their routine, and even partnering with injectable brands as paid spokespeople. Simultaneously, younger Millennial and Gen Z customers are curious about trying these treatments and they see cosmetic dermatology as a fun way to enhance their appearance, not just as an anti-aging measure.,” explains Demers. “Today’s customer is booking medspa appointments the same way that previous generations purchased lipstick or got a manicure. This is why fintech offerings, like bite size payments and treatment bundling, are so important to our platform. As more consumers become interested in these treatments, we want to ensure that there are options to make them convenient and more accessible.”
When it comes to what she has learned personally since launching Upkeep. Demers has realized how hard the path for solo, female entrepreneurs is and how important it is to surround yourself with good partners. “It takes time to find the group that understands your vision and goals, but that effort is worth it. Once you do, they become an invaluable resource to bounce ideas off and help you make the right connections to grow your business.”
Currently, Upkeep is available in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Miami, Palm Beach, and New York City, with the next planned expansions into multiple cities in Texas. “We are looking forward to starting to announce those specific locations over the next couple months! Because of our vetting process, it does take significant time on our side to test and confirm the medspas we want to work with, to ensure we have the right mix of providers to launch in a new city. We are excited to grow Upkeep nationwide, and hopefully internationally as well,” shares Demers.
With a fresh round of $2 million in seed funding, I wanted to know what Demers plans to do with the money. “This capital will allow us to continue expanding into new markets, while also making some key hires for our team. Additionally, providing greater accessibility for these treatments is of great importance for us, so we are also using this funding to roll out a bite size payment integration with Affirm and to offer bundling and packages of complementary treatments,” she tells me.
Demers continues, “These treatments often last for several months or even up to a year, but you have to pay for everything up front which isn’t ideal for consumers. With Affirm, customers will be able to better spread out the cost of their treatments. The bundles or packages are also designed to make both consumers’ and providers’ lives easier. Whether someone is looking for guidance on the best series of treatments to get before their wedding, or how many Morpheus8 treatments to get for the best results, our booking options will help provide clarity and easier ways to schedule all treatments on the recommended timeline.”
For more information on Upkeep or further information on becoming a preferred provider, visit the Upkeep website.