Three years ago, David Smith watched a David Attenborough documentary that urged everyone to think about their own role in creating a sustainable planet; recycling, cutting down on waste and utilising services such as the local milkman to cut down on single-use plastics.
On his long commute to his job as an electrical engineer, David could not get this thought about supporting the local milkman out of his mind.
It was during these many hours in the car that the idea of Uddr first came to mind.
David’s vision was of an app that people could use to book services with local tradespeople who have not typically adopted digital platforms and can be hard to track down as a result. From the milkman to window cleaners, refuse collectors and any other small business that offers a local service.
After meeting up with a friend who was a technology entrepreneur, Uddr was born.
After tweaking the platform, it was officially launched in June 2020 and offered a unique style of service; both because it incorporated WhatsApp, which meant that business owners and customers could contact one another with ease, and because of its unwavering focus on providing a platform for small, locally rooted businesses.
David was keen that this app help push back against the global technological giants and the use of SEO optimisation which benefitted a few large organisations at the expense of small, community-based firms who struggled to break through.
In 2020, there were 100 businesses registered with Uddr, based primarily in and around Pontypool. Today, there are 600 businesses signed up within South Wales. David and the team have deliberately not yet scaled the business further because of the need to get businesses onboard before advertising the app to customers. This is part of the big plan for the coming months.
Uddr is also a very competitively priced platform which charges businesses only £11.99 a month, ensuring that the service is affordable for businesses of any size.
There are now 2500 users a month across South Wales, which demonstrates just how quickly this product – and the market it serves – is growing.
They have also branched out to include a huge range of additional services such as legal and estate agent services, pet care, weddings, childcare and much more.
Launching the business during 2020 meant that as well as facing the rollercoaster of launching a new venture the team also had to navigate that during Covid-19 which rocked Wales’ economy. However, the way that the firm has taken off during this time gave David the confidence to leave his job in August 2020 and work full-time on Uddr.
Since then, the firm has undertaken partnerships with local authorities to offer opportunities for businesses to come onboard in particular areas and has been overwhelmed by the sheer number of businesses wanting to join the service.
They have huge plans to continue to grow the app further and are passionate about helping business owners bridge the digital divide which prevents certain tradespeople and SMEs from exploiting some opportunities, whilst also supporting the foundational economy in South Wales and helping to ensure that businesses can thrive in the wake of an incredibly difficult year. David & the team are thrilled to shortly announce a new string to the Uddr bow, offering affordable website design & build tailored especially for those small businesses & trades joining the platform.
The business is now growing so quickly that the team itself also needs to expand, and David is hiring through the UK Government Kickstart Scheme which was launched in 2021 to help businesses grow and recruit post-pandemic.
David says that his ambition continues to be to get every milkman in Wales on the app (membership for milkmen is offered for free) and to really level the playing field between small and large firms in terms of advertising and reaching the public.
It began with the milkman, but Uddr has huge plans and this locally-rooted but nationally ambitious firm will be one to watch in the future.