UPcload in Beijing: A Berlin Bull in the China Shop

By David Knight |

UPcload is riding a wave of popularity at the moment, and why not? Its innovative service, whereby consumers can be accurately measured for clothing through their webcams, could well change the face of online clothes retailing. They are set to soft launch in Germany in three weeks before setting up an office in San Francisco early next year.

And following a trip to Beijing for TechCrunch Disrupt, UPcload has also been the subject of plenty of media attention this past week (although don’t forget our piece from June). The future is bright for this Berlin-based startup.

But CEO and co-founder Asaf Moses wasn’t particularly convinced by his trip to China, and is in no doubt that he and his startup are in the right place. He told Silicon Allee: “Just looking at the competition, if that is what China has to offer, Berlin as a city is much better off.  Startups, innovation, it was disappointing. No one is looking for innovation; it’s not what China does in this sense. It reflects well on Berlin and places like New York and San Francisco.”

Asaf felt the UPcload presentation at the Disrupt Startup Battlefield had gone well, but they were not as successful as they had hoped. He added: “We went on stage, and we felt we were well prepared. We gave a good presentation, we got a lot of media coverage. But we didn’t get through to the second round. We were very disappointed, we thought we should have won. But seeing the company that did win, we could see that the criteria were different than what we had thought. I don’t think it was worth it, to go all this way, we won’t repeat it.”

It turned out to be a real eye opener for Asaf and the UPcload team, and proved that the tech scene is far from homogenous across the globe. “The competition had a different focus than similar competitions in other parts of the world.”

There’s no time to dwell on the disappointment of Beijing, however, with UPcload set for a soft launch in Germany later this month. All the individual parts of the system have been checked and are working, Asaf said, and now they wanted to ensure that everything worked well together. The official launch in Germany will be at the end of February or beginning of March next year, but before then Asaf will head to the US to open the new office. There is also a new R&D guru arriving, and things are looking up for UPcload, Chinese tribulations or not.