The Upland Story

In early 2018, during a late game night, our co-founders Mani, Idan, and Dirk found themselves at the intersection of innovation and imagination. The digital collectibles craze, powered by non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on blockchain technology, had just taken the world by storm, exemplified by the likes of CryptoKitties. As they rolled the dice and contemplated the possibilities, a vision inspired by monopoly and the introduction of true ownership began to take shape.

"What if we could tokenize the real world using the same technology that's revolutionizing digital collectibles?" they wondered. "What if every property on Earth could become a unique, non-fungible asset verified by blockchain? Imagine trading virtual properties tied to real-world addresses, properties you actually own.

"And thus, Upland was born. From that moment on, the co-founders met almost every day, tirelessly planning, refining, and developing their vision. Upland wasn't just about gaming; it was about creating a metaverse where people could play, socialize, and even earn a living. It was a true digital open economy, seamlessly blending the real and virtual worlds, and, importantly, designed to be accessible to everyone, regardless of their technical expertise.

With the conceptual and technical pieces falling into place, Uplandme, Inc. was officially incorporated in July 2018. Following a seed round backed by angel investors and C3 Venture Capital (formerly FinLab AG), coding efforts kicked into high gear in December 2018. By June 2019, the closed beta for the city of San Francisco was introduced to the first Upland users, and since January 2020, Upland's open beta has been live and accessible across platforms, starting with iOS and Android, followed by the Web a few months later.

2020: A Pivotal Year of Development with Major City Releases

The year 2020 was a milestone year for Upland. The mintable cities of Fresno and NYC opened their doors, expanding our virtual world. A game-changing partnership with Tilia Inc. allowed users to sell properties for USD, bringing real-world value to our virtual realm.

2021: A Milestone-Rich Year that Celebrated 1M NFTs Sold and the Launch of In-Game Spark

By June of 2021, Upland saw rapid growth, which earned a major milestone of 1M NFTs sold, 10 major city openings (Brooklyn, Oakland, Bakersfield, Staten Island, Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Rutherford, New Orleans, and the Bronx), $1M in player earnings, and a Series A Fundraise. Additionally, the platform introduced Legits, a new suite of digital assets designed to enable brands, personalities, and organizations to extend their real-life presence into the Upland metaverse and beyond, starting with the NFLPA. This banner year ended on a high note with a lot of momentum in empowering users to be entrepreneurial in creating Metaventures, player-owned businesses that now exist all over the Upland map.

2022: International City Expansion, Developer Tools, and the Beginning of Community Governance

January 2022 kicked off with a bang and a record-breaking city release, Los Angeles, which drove momentum through two more city releases in the first quarter - Queens and Detroit. Upland players then launched their own game-related services in order to augment in-game exchanges and secondary market activity supported by a new in-game peer to peer UPX transfer feature. A new category of UGC also became available with the Master Builder’s Contest allowing players to design UGC structure models unique to each city. By the 2nd quarter, Genesis Week exploded in Las Vegas with the first live city release that brought Sin City to the metaverse and cars were introduced. We launched our first hackathon along with a robust set of tools to empower developers to build the next generation of tools and applications. Genesis Week concluded with a mega announcement, our first international city opening. Rio de Janeiro opened in July of 2022, and the Brazilian community exploded with growth, which required an expansion of the city the very next month. Porto, Portugal, shortly followed along with preparation for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ - a massive partnership and one of the most innovative and interactive fan experiences for the Upland community.


2023 - the year of Upland accelerated the development of 3D Spaces by letting users hang out in cafes and race through the Metaverse. The overall ecosystem continued to grow, and our mission to build the world’s largest open digital economy helped prioritize everything that empowers all stakeholders to build value in the form of businesses, services, tools, games, experiences, wearables, UGC, and more. The heart of all value creation in Upland is Spark, the in-game utility token required to build structures or manufacture digital assets in Upland. In Q3, Upland presented its community a White Paper to potentially make Spark’s counterpart, Sparklet, tradable outside the Upland platform. The concept includes the possibility to bridget Sparklet to Spark and vice versa. The White Paper was accepted with over 88% of the community votes. The year concluded with the opening of Miami where players were given the opportunity to build city-specific structures.


In 2024, Upland continues to grow without signs of stopping. During the first quarter, Upland launched highly popular season passes that allow players to customize their profiles with various "cosmetics." Additionally, the game introduced the option for players to travel by car, enabling users to use their own vehicles to move between cities instead of relying on public transportation. Moreover, residential areas around the Lake Tahoe region were made accessible, but only by private car transportation. 2024 also marks the debut of Sparklet in Upland.

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