Our 30/30 Vision

In the future, the world’s most impactful companies will be owned by all of us, not just a few.
- Casey Fenton
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Imagine a world

Imagine a world with a lot more income and wealth equality. What would your life feel like if the distance between the richest families and poorest communities wasn’t so extreme? In this world, most people can easily meet their basic needs and families can solve life problems without facing huge financial risks to their future. Humans at all levels could thrive instead of simply survive.

 

Dystopian future

Today, income inequality is getting worse. The richest 1% of Americans own most of the wealth generated by businesses, with the top 10% owning 90% of that wealth. Families are becoming more desperate, less cooperative, and forced into a poverty mindset of short-term thinking and planning. If we don’t change course, life will become unlivable for the middle and lower classes. 

 

This wealth inequality leads to a myriad of problems that result in global destabilization and wars. Day to day, people and families become unhappy because they are facing uncertain futures. 

 

Be a part of the solution

A movement is growing that is reversing this trend by creating more worker ownership. Companies with substantial worker ownership heal communities and make businesses stronger and more resilient. These companies are more productive, experience a faster rate of growth, and fail less often.

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A Harvard Business Review article recently showed that when the US reaches 30% worker-ownership, the wealth of the bottom 50% of households will 4x, creating life-changing gains for marginalized populations and the least educated. The top 1% will only see their net worth decrease by a mere 14%, a small cost to ensure a more fair, sustainable, and safe world. 

Our vision for 2030

30% of businesses will be worker-owned by 2030. 

In 2030 companies will have a much greater rate of success, because all company stakeholders will finally be aligned, receiving their fair share of the pie.

 

This inspires stakeholders to do their best work and live more meaningful lives. Shared equity allows companies to scale much more easily because a large group of people can immediately trust each other. Information is shared instead of being hoarded and used for power.

Today, businesses are 8% worker-owned. By 2030 worker-ownership will increase to 30%. The earth will be transformed!

We believe that creating true company alignment allows businesses to survive and thrive, even in the worst economies. By increasing worker ownership, businesses also see an increase in productivity, growth, revenue, and longevity.

 

Increased worker-ownership is allowing a new form of cooperative capitalism to arise. We are accelerating the worker ownership trend by sharing company ownership in a way that is simple, accessible, and emotionally inspiring. Upstock is changing the future by empowering companies to split ownership and by creating alignment in practically any kind of entity, over any geography. 


*See the inspiring HBR research below. . .

Image by Bailey Zindel

Our mission is
Universal Equity

Why we exist. 

Upstock’s mission is to turn every team member into a true believer through cutting-edge, mission-aligning equity that inspires everyone to do the best work of their lives. If we do this, we will simultaneously improve companies and improve the world, accelerating the world from 8% to 30% worker-owned. 

Components of Universal Equity:

 

Emotionally inspiring: Upstock is leading the industry with our visually inspiring dashboards and apps which help workers understand the value of their equity. Seeing is believing and when workers are able to see the value of the equity they’re receiving grow, they give their best efforts. Upstock helps to make sure that all stakeholder interests are fairly balanced. People want to get involved and give more when they understand the value of the time they have invested. 

 

Multi-StakeholderIt's not enough to simply give equity to founders, employees, and some contractors. These days, more and more company contributors are gig-workers, advisers, and community members. To reach our 30/30 Vision, we must align all stakeholders.  

Accessible: We are focused on lowering barriers to entry into the worker equity market including offering affordable per/worker pricing, future-proofing our legal documents, and making equity easy to understand so that stakeholders can fully trust each other.  

 

Global: We are making equity accessible worldwide, across different geographies, and crossing cultural norms. Someday we hope to go out into our solar system and beyond. By moving away from napkin and handshake agreements, founders are free to hire the best people for the job, no matter where they’re located. 

Legal: Upstock’s Universal Equity™ cloud-based top-shelf standardized legal documents ensure that equity splits are fair and accessible for all parties. Our documents are custom-built for each company based on their needs while maintaining a reasonable level of standardization so that everyone can trust each other quickly. 

Tax: Businesses and workers should pay their fair share and only be taxed when it makes sense, when they have the funds to pay. 


Secure:  We are bridging the divide between trusted traditional systems and modern technological advances. Upstock also enables customers to tokenize their worker equity (RTUs) on our RSU blockchain, increasing trust, transparency, and ultimately overall share value.

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Values

Upstock's Deeply Ingrained Principles.

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Harvard Business Review: “Core values are the deeply ingrained principles that guide all of a company’s actions; they serve as its cultural cornerstones… they can never be compromised, either for convenience or short-term economic gain.. They are the source of a company’s distinctiveness and must be maintained at all costs.”

  • We believe that the alignment of workers and companies unlocks greatness. This includes not only financial alignment but logical, technological, and for some even spiritual alignment.

  • We believe in being leaders for the future of work, by making worker equity and alignment accessible to every kind of organization including distributed teams. 

  • We believe that more transparency allows stakeholders to trust each other and unlock greatness.

  • We believe in continual innovation toward more equitable divisions of ownership. 

  • We believe that we should all be emotionally inspired to do the best work of our lives.

  • We believe in leading the global charge toward a more cooperative form of capitalism.

 

Research

Research shows that the richest 1% of Americans own most of the wealth generated by businesses, with the top 10% owning 90% of that wealth. Today businesses are 8% worker-owned. Upstock is accelerating the worker ownership trend. When businesses become 30% worker-owned, the earth will be transformed! 


 

Cumulative Changes in Annual Wages 1979-2011

A May 13, 2021 article in the Harvard Business Review said that when we reach 10% worker-ownership, the wealth of the bottom 50% of households will double, creating “life-changing gains for marginalized populations.” 

 

When we reach Upstock's target of 30%, the bottom 50% of America’s wealth holders will have increased their wealth share 4x, from 1.4% up to 6.4%, bringing median household wealth from $24K to $106K. Our least educated workers will increase their wealth from about $21K to $84K. Finally, the top 1% will only see their net worth decrease by a mere 14%, a small cost to ensure a more fair, sustainable, and safe world.

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Image by Johann Siemens

Our Story

After growing Couchsurfing, Casey wanted to share equity with all stakeholders and community members, but lawyers told him it was impossible with the currently available technology. 
 

After issuing stock options to his team, he saw productivity actually start to decline. Workers didn’t understand or trust the complex stack of legal documents being handed to them.

 

Believing that every team should have the tools to unite & build a successful company without having to pay exorbitantly for ineffective paper-based documents, Casey set out on a quest to repair the broken equity model and deliver on the promise of equity that truly motivates. 

From this, Upstock was born. A top-shelf digital legal equity system that combines performance equity with a visual dashboard. Now workers can see the value of their equity growing in real-time. 

Upstock's elite team was brought together by their shared vision of making equity digital, delivered in real-time, and accessible to businesses of all sizes, globally. 

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Join us and bring forth a more cooperative form of capitalism!

Upstock Timeline

2018

2019

2020

Today

2021

Beta testing begins on our platform with a select group of companies. 

3x savings = 3x runway! We are eating our own dog food. Instead of taking two years and $2M+, we build our first fully functional product with the world's top equity attorneys for only a fraction of the cost. By leveraging our platform and our vision to democratize equity sharing, we are able to attract top talent to work on our platform in exchange for equity. 

Upstock attends Acceleprise.vc and learns how to build a B2B SaaS company. We realize the market isn't big enough if we only offer dynamic equity. We do a small pivot and start offering fixed RSU equity as a stock option replacement

There has been a global shift during the pandemic and now people are ready for worker equity as a service. More and more customers are trusting Upstock to issue their company equity. 

Upstock is becoming the preferred way for savvy companies in the United States and beyond to share meaningful equity.  We help get workers emotionally motivated to do their best work. 

Join Upstock