It all started in early 2018 during a late-night Monopoly game between our co-founders Mani, Idan, and Dirk. If you can’t recall, this was a time when digital collectibles via non-fungible tokens based on blockchain technology started making a big splash in the news. Think: Cryptokitties. The combination of Monopoly and the rise of digital collectibles had the three cofounders asking themselves: What if we can “tokenize” the real world through the very same technology that powers these collectibles? What if every property in the world could be its own collectible, non-fungible asset whose ownership could be verified by blockchain? Wouldn’t it be fun to trade virtual properties based on real-world addresses that are actually owned by you?
And that was the moment Upland was born. From then on, the three co-founders would meet almost everyday to plan, refine, and develop their vision for Upland: a metaverse where people will not only play but also socialize and eventually be able earn money. In other words, a true digital economy that blends the real world with the virtual world. But - and this was important from day one - everything would have to be simple and easy to understand for anyone regardless of their level of technical expertise. So Mani, Idan and Dirk started to look for a blockchain that would enable them to make their vision a reality. They found it in the EOS blockchain developed by Block.One. Then everything started to pick up speed: Uplandme, Inc. was incorporated in July 2018. Soon thereafter the founders raised a seed round from angel investors and FinLab AG out of Germany and coding begin in earnest in December 2018. In June 2019 the company allowed its first users to try its closed beta. Then, since January 2020, Upland’s open beta has been live and available cross-platform, meaning web, iOS and Android.
Much has happened in 2020 for Upland. Fresno and NYC have since opened as mintable cities, and Upland’s partnership with Tilia Inc. to allow users to sell properties for USD was introduced.
Upland has even more exciting and innovative plans for 2021: a NFT gateway that will allow users to import NFTs from other blockchains, drivable cars, residential and commercial property development, and the introduction of businesses. And the opening of new cities in the U.S. and internationally. The future is very bright in Upland indeed!
"Create fun experiences and new opportunities for everyone at the intersection of the real and virtual worlds."
This is what you get when a 90s music-loving guitarist, an active soccer (football) player, and a competitive swimmer are combined: