Startup UPPER sets out to fix tech freelancing for good

By , in news startups on . Tagged width: , , ,

The shortage of top tech professionals is anything but news. However, if mixed with the more recent trend where tech talent is going freelance with a clear preference for remote work (100x due to COVID-19), a future emerges that looks both very bleak for companies that are not ready to engage this future workforce and very beneficial for the companies that can.

To make matters worse, this change in dynamic makes things difficult for tech professionals too, who now have trouble finding qualified opportunities and taking more risk, oftentimes ending up on projects they don’t like or are not suited for.

Current marketplaces force companies to play “freelancer roulette”

While freelance-related businesses are mushrooming all over the world, fuelled by COVID-19 and the sudden move to remote work, very few truly understand or address the challenges and opportunities brought forward by this “future of work” for technology and software.

“If you look at the freelance market today you will notice two types of companies: open freelancer marketplaces with one-size-fits-all solutions where customers play “freelancer roulette” with their money or closed marketplaces which are mainly nothing more than recruitment companies or agencies with a sleek website charging you 100% markups for a very unclear value. There’s little to nothing in between.”

says Victor Cazacu, UPPER’s CEO

UPPER’s solution combines the best of two worlds

At the intersection of three megatrends – software, freelance, and remote work – UPPER is building the tech freelance OS, a proprietary platform that combines the best of open and closed marketplaces (ie. transparency and curation) with management tools and software development know-how.

UPPER’s core service is to provide fast access to (actually) pre-vetted developers, designers, product managers, or full teams, who are professionally matched to projects by CTO-level tech experts, everything based on a transparent service-fee business model.

Experienced team with extensive tech background

The team behind UPPER comes from C-level and Founder roles at companies that provided unique industry experience and complementary vantage points which are now converging into UPPER’s service and product.

Startup Upper: co-founders Victor Cazacu (left) Paul Friedrich (right)
Startup Upper: co-founders Victor Cazacu (left) Paul Friedrich (right)

Victor Cazacu who previously founded MVP Factory and led N26’s mobile efforts as Head of Mobile was joined by Paul Friedrich ex-Director of Operations EMEA at Goldman Sachs backed Applause, alongside Ivan Bernat, previously Head of Technical Talent at Andreessen Horowitz backed Toptal.

Strong investors back UPPER to become go-to platform for tech Talent

Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Berlin, the company is servicing a growing customer base across Europe and already counting hundreds of EU-based tech professionals that have previously worked for top companies like UIPath, Adobe, Google, and more.

“With the strong tech background in the founding team and UPPER’s unique matching solution, we feel assured that UPPER will be the go-to platform for tech freelancers and companies of the future,”

says Claude Ritter, Managing Partner at Cavalry Ventures and co-founder of companies such as Delivery Hero and Book a Tiger

Besides Cavalry Ventures, UPPER is backed by venture capitalist as well as business angels Vassil Terziev, co-founder of Telerik, and Christian Rebernik, former Managing Director and CTO of the mobile bank N26.