Upstream, a Miami-based professional networking platform, raises a $2.75M seed round – TechCrunch


Should you’re studying this, there’s a lovely excellent probability you may have a LinkedIn profile together with your virtual resume and loads — if now not 1000’s — {of professional} connections. However what number of of the ones folks do you in truth know neatly, and, extra importantly, do you ever connect to them and meet others from their networks?

“You don’t move to LinkedIn to fulfill folks. You don’t hang around and spend significant time there,” stated Alex Taub, co-founder and CEO of Upstream, a brand new skilled networking platform that simply closed a $2.75 million seed spherical, bringing their overall raised to $3.25 million. The spherical was once led via Ibex Traders and managing spouse Nicole Priel (who joins the board) and comprises participation via 8-Bit Capital, Human Ventures, NYVP, Converge Mission Companions and a variety of angel buyers.

“Your LinkedIn community isn’t a excellent illustration of who you in truth know and the way neatly you realize them. We see those puts that LinkedIn isn’t specifically targeted [on] and imagine there are alternatives for more than one large corporations to higher serve the wishes of pros,” Taub added.

In contrast to LinkedIn, Upstream makes a speciality of producing significant connections between its individuals, and a method they move about it’s via webhosting virtual occasions that get started with a speaker, adopted via breakout matched periods which are 5 mins each and every.

To get a way of the product, Upstream invited me to be the speaker eventually Friday’s “Upstream Social,” the place I mentioned my paintings as a journalist after which coincidently were given matched with two founders — one in Brazil and the opposite in Boston. The week sooner than, the visitor speaker was once U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

To me, the revel in felt like LinkedIn meets Clubhouse meets Hoppin.

Upstream, which is pre-revenue and is Miami-based, is an organization whose founder was once drawn to the Sunshine State from NYC right through the pandemic. Taub and his circle of relatives signed a two-year rent right here and plan to reevaluate their place of abode in the summertime of 2022; they’re one of the vital movers who’re cautiously constructive in regards to the tech business’s fresh explosion within the Magic Town.

The starting place tale

Taub and his co-founder, Michael Schonfeld, are each serial marketers, having constructed and bought Social Rank for an undisclosed quantity sooner than launching Upstream in October 2020. The impetus for the corporate got here as a method to a fight Taub confronted in his day by day lifestyles.

“Right through my lifestyles, without reference to the process I’ve been in, I spend my time making introductions, connecting folks and serving to pals rent rock-star skill. Like many of us, I am getting power from serving to others,” Taub stated. “When COVID-19 hit and the process marketplace took a dive ultimate March, the selection of requests for lend a hand I won higher 100X. I realized temporarily that my velocity of responding to emails and mind capability to attach the dots was the proscribing consider getting folks lend a hand,” he added.

So it’s no wonder that Upstream began as a product the place folks may just ask for lend a hand, and others from the group pitched in. The corporate now has greater than 200 communities (very similar to LinkedIn teams), and about 75% of the individuals who attend an preliminary Upstream match go back for a 2d one.

“I shaggy dog story that we’re construction a product that individuals want as a result of I want it. We really feel that we’re the appropriate group to resolve this drawback as a result of we so desperately need it ourselves,” Taub stated.

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