Upstock.io & Uptoken.com
Investor & Advisor Update
Q4 - December 2021
Greetings Investors and Advisors,
Happy new year and thank you so much for all of your support. Upstock is based around the idea that anyone, anywhere should be able to share ownership in companies to inspire and motivate workers. We appreciate your continued enthusiasm and support in making our vision a reality moving into 2022.
What is Upstock.io? Upstock helps companies share equity in the form of future stock promises so that workers (employees, contractors, advisers, community members) will only receive their equity when it is safe to do so (vesting, taxes, etc.).
What is Uptoken.com? Uptoken is our sister site that has created a path for crypto companies to distribute tokens and incentivize contributors with less regulatory risk. By modifying the Restricted Stock Unit model (which has precedence with regulators globally), Uptoken has created “Restricted Token Units” that can be deployed on its live platform.
Slowing down to speed up: We’ve been focused on product updates and expansion into the new market. Check out our updates below for more detail. Pushing heavily on demand generation in Q1. Unfortunately, there was some expected seasonality for sales. Over the holidays we were flat on revenue but we have a lot of people who we are picking up their interest in January.
Here are the important updates. For a more detailed update on each point, please read further down past my signature block.
Topics Outline: (more details about each item near the end of this document)
2. Current Growth Focus: expand crypto offering with Uptoken
5. Sales update:
7. Marketing Update
10. Focus for Q1 2022
Please feel free to contact me directly or use the following link to schedule a meeting: https://calendly.com/upstock
Looking forward to connecting with you all more in 2022!
PLEASE READ BELOW TO SEE MORE DETAIL:
1. Asks - how you can help
We are currently looking for introductions to crypto founders. If you know of any companies that are pre tokenization, they could be a great fit for our new Restricted Token Unit Offering: Uptoken. With Uptoken we have created a path for crypto companies to distribute tokens and incentivize contributors with less regulatory risk. By modifying the Restricted Stock Unit model (which has precedence with regulators globally), Uptoken has created a digital ledger for Restricted Token Units that can be deployed on its live platform.
We are also looking to raise next year. Please make introductions to any investors you think would be a good fit for us in the crypto space.
Uptoken blurb: https://www.uptoken.com/uptoken-blurb
2. Current Focus: expanded crypto offering with Uptoken
Upstock companies are now able to offer fixed and dynamic RSUs as well as fixed and dynamic RTUs. In order to avoid confusion and have a clear-cut offering to customers, we have created a separate website to explain our crypto offering called Uptoken. Uptoken has created a path for crypto companies to distribute tokens and incentivize contributors with less regulatory risk. The web application enables RSU and RTUs to remain on the same platform, so applicable companies will be able to offer their team members and communities both equity and token promises.
The first week of December our CEO and Sales Lead attended Puerto Rico Blockchain Week to gauge interest, meet with crypto companies, and made valuable new connections in the crypto regulatory space.
We are in talks with and making new connections to crypto ecosystem attorneys, SEC attorneys, and specialists to review and vet our RTU framework.
More at: https://www.uptoken.com/
Upstock currently has $750,000 in the bank. At our current burn rate, we have one year of runway. Our current recurring revenue is still $1,200 a month because we lost a customer and gained a couple of smaller ones.
We raised $1.25M in 2021, big thanks to our lead investor Streamlined Ventures.
To date, we have raised about $2.1M total all-time funding.
Starting in February, we are looking to raise $1-2 million in early 2022. Our goal is to raise $3M by the end of 2022. We will be using the funds to speed up our app development, bolster our sales team, and build out our marketing team.
5. Sales update
We have been working hard on the uptoken.com offering because companies in the crypto space are clamoring for our solution. There has been a lot of interest in our RTU platform. While we are still reaching out to startups and companies looking to get their employee equity plans in place, we are now also shifting our focus to the crypto market.
We currently have 42 new companies in our pipeline and we have already onboarded our first paying company, LitProtocol, using Restricted Token Units. There are several other companies going through our onboarding process. Also, one of our existing customers, Dancefight, recently got funding to create a utility token and they asked to do a joint press release about their success with Upstock. Dancfight also wants to convert their existing community rewards system from RSUs over to RTUs.
Once our development team has completed improving a few design changes and bug fixes to our current web app, we will be in a better position to close and will begin outreach to over 100,000 qualified leads. Our goal is to 100x or more in the next year, reaching 100k in MRR asap.
We are continuing to work with Whitney Sales on our upmarket strategy. Her insights on who to target for our demand generation have been extremely helpful.
After careful consideration and feedback from our existing customers and investors, we have updated our pricing from $10 per worker a month to $20 per worker a month. This price increase will allow us to offer discounts for our partners and allow us to run special promotions.
Our Sales Lead, Jon Gillon, has been building out the specifics and onboarding for our partnership benefits and Upstock referral program. He is currently in talks with several mid to large-sized companies that are interested in partnering with us and offering our equity plans and legal documents to their customers. He is also exploring potential partnership opportunities with several crypto companies. Additionally, a handful of individual practitioners are interested in our referrals program in Upstock and are getting familiar with our product.
7. Marketing Update
In today’s market, people are often more interested in video content than anything else. So we are working with Explainify to make introductory videos for Upstock.io & Uptoken.com. We will feature the videos on our website and social media. The videos should be ready by the end of January.
At the recommendation of our investor and adviser Forum Ventures (formerly Acceleprise), we have contracted with Leopoldo Pirela to improve our SEO. He has been gathering competitor data, targeting how and what website pages to improve, and putting together a list of targeted content ideas based on google keyword searches and questions emailed to us.
We are continuing with regular weekly content updates across our blog and social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram). This has been great for our SEO and has helped to improve our website traffic.
In order to improve the functionality, design, and SEO of our website we have started re-building Upstock’s website onto Webflow. Webflow has a smoother codebase and more professional design tools. Once we have finished building the new website we will transfer the domain over from Wix.
Some screenshots of the new web app:
Our back-end developers are 70% complete in building out and creating our new backend framework. If things continue on track we will be prepared to launch beta testing in March 2022, before the end of the first quarter. Our new platform will allow us to bring on channel partners, and allow our users to set up their own partnership programs. We are also modernizing the app’s design to have a more sleek and modern look and improved mobile compatibility.
We started working with two talented front-end developers to build out the web app’s new frontend. It is currently 80% completed and should be ready to launch beta testing by the end of the first quarter this year alongside our new backend framework. The new front end will improve the design and ease of use of our web app.
We are continuing to improve upon our product to fit the needs of our customers. We’re excited to now be able to offer customizable terms and have improved the functionality of our process of converting pre-issued stock options into RSUs. Now Upstock or a company’s legal team can add custom terms to our standardized legal documents. A box to include custom terms is now a part of the legal documents drafting process. For example, if a worker requests that the company add a special paragraph about banking in their country, that can be added.
We have the equivalent of 12 full-time workers. Half of our team is based in the United States, and the remainder are abroad.
Please join us in welcoming Amresh Mishra, a web developer that is helping us with our website transition over to Webflow. He will also be helping us to upgrade the website’s design and functionality moving forward.
We are currently reviewing applications for a new copywriter and social media content specialist to join our team in 2022.
10. What we’re going to be focusing on for 2022
On the top of our list is getting even more “signoff” from an expert SEC attorney and approval of our legal documents. No lawyer will actually “sign off” on any legal document, but they can let us know if there are any red flags in regards to token-related legal aspects. This will help our customers feel like they can trust us without needing a lot of sign-offs from their lawyers.
We are also focusing our efforts on improving our product. Most of our developers are working on completing the new backend and frontend framework to give our web app a beautiful new look with improved functionality. We are hoping to have the beta launched in 3 months, by the end of the first quarter of 2022. We also have a developer working on our current web app to make bug fixes and improve design aesthetics.
In order to improve our design capabilities and SEO, our team is transitioning our websites off of Wix over to Webflow. We will also be upgrading the Upstock and Uptoken website’s look for a more professional and up-to-date design with improved navigation.
We are continuing to build out and evolve our sales team to figure out the best way to reach and onboard new customers in the employee equity space as well as the token economy.
Thanks again for all of your support!
We wouldn’t be here without your support and guidance. We truly appreciate all that you’ve done to make Upstock a success now and in the future. Hope you all had a wonderful end of the year and we look forward to improving and growing together in 2022!
-The Upstock Team