Would you pay a subscription in exchange for unlimited coffee?

A new startup is helping Melburnians get their caffeine fix without having to whip out a wallet or fumble with loose change.

 

UpShot, based out of the depo8 co-working space in Prahran, is an app where users can pay a weekly subscription in exchange for unlimited coffee at participating cafes.

 

An introductory subscription costs $15 a week – however, the fee will rise to $25 in the near future.

 

For every coffee sold via UpShot, the startup takes a 3% commission. If a user drinks more than $15 a week in coffee at a cafe, then UpShot pays for those additional coffees.

 

Co-founder Jerrold Poh told StartupSmart the major hurdle the startup has had to overcome since launching in December last year was encouraging cafes to come onboard.

 

“The problem wasn’t going to be getting new users – we had already put up a landing page and got a lot of emails whenever we put advertising towards it,” he says.

 

“It was very hard to get cafes onboard and we thought we had to make it as easy as possible. It was a long process to get to where we are now.”

 

 

 

 

While Poh would not reveal how many users UpShot currently has, he did say the startup has partnered with 11 cafes so far with “a couple more” in the pipeline, which he expects to sign up with the service in the next few weeks.

 

“Most of them are around Prahran and South Yarra, which is where we’re based out of,” he says.

 

“But we’re currently doing a big push into the CBD area – a lot of our users are based there.”

 

Poh hopes coffee’s popularity will encourage people to be more open to subscription and mobile payments. He encourages other entrepreneurs to validate their ideas and form partnerships before throwing time and money at a project.

 

“The first step is to continually test your assumptions,” he says.

 

“If we went in with our original idea and spent six months building it, I’m not sure it would have been readily accepted by cafes.

 

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