October 2020

Greetings Investors & Advisors,

Thank you so much for your help. So far we’ve had a pretty good 2020 considering. We attended Acceleprise, it was a great success, and we’ve figured out how to sell our product and service. I’m excited to share a few pieces of news. We are weathering covid well, with an increased interest in Upstock. This week we have launched a new set of documents that allow us to serve companies and workers in 63+ countries.

Here are the important updates to share:

  1. Successful Acceleprise accelerator experience.
  2. Upstock now works in 63+ countries.
  3. $50,000 in the bank.
  4. Low $8k burn rate.
  5. New sales plan in place.
  6. Growing our sales pipeline.
  7. Updated pricing for COVID.
  8. Launched new vesting functionality.
  9. Looking for new partnerships.
  10. Substantially refreshed website materials.
  11. Preparing to launch our Ambassador program.
  12. What’s next for Upstock.
  13. How can you get more involved?

Latest materials here:

1. Successful Acceleprise experience.

Accelerprise is a Business to Business (B2B) Software as a Service (SaaS) accelerator and mentorship program and one of our our most recent investors. We have recently completed their program which focuses on developing go-to-market strategies, sales, and fundraising through workshops, one on one meetings with the Acceleprise team, and introductions to mentors, investors and potential customers. We have learned so much from this experience and I can’t imagine a better accelerator for Upstock.

Accelerprise helped us learn more about  B2B SaaS sales and marketing. I had a lot of experience with B2C social networks and marketplaces, but I had never tried to sell a B2B SaaS product before. I highly recommend Accelerprise and Whitney Sales in particular. Whitney has truly helped us figure out how to reliably sell and close customers.

2. Upstock now works in 63+ countries  

Thanks to the diligent work of our legal team, Renata and Virginia specifically, we now have jurisdiction specific language for 63 countries. This is a big breakthrough because half of our incoming sales interest is from abroad. To see which countries we cover, click here: http://docs.upstock.io/countries

3. $50k In the bank.

We currently have $50k in the bank.

Unfortunately COVID has affected my original plan to embark on a Silicon Valley roadshow to  acquire $1-2 million in funding. We will start this up again in early 2021.

4. Low burn rate.

Currently we are trying to keep our monthly expenses to under 8k, mostly focusing on sales and changes to the product which allow us to serve more customers.

5. New sales plan.

We have figured out how to sell consistently. Over the last couple months I’ve had about 15 customer conversations per week. We are continuing to focus on companies between seed and Series A funding. This demographic has few if any affordable options to grant equity to their workers despite being the group that would benefit the most from leveraging equity for less pay. Upstock is filling that gap. My near term goal is to reach eight or more qualified calls per day.

6. Growing our sales pipeline.

We currently are in the middle of our LinkedIn sales campaign. Our messaging reaches 40 people a day, and so far we have been receiving a good response.

We have also been reaching out and forming partnerships with “fractional CFO” and financial services companies, as well as mentorship programs that support founders. Many of our partners, particularly financial firms, want to be able to receive equity from the companies that they’re working for. Using Upstock makes this process of gaining equity in their customers' companies easy. A perfect fit.

We are happy to announce our most recent partnership with Burkland, a CFO, accounting and tax services company that specializes in providing smarter finance services for startups from seed to scale. Burkland has already brought on a customer.

7. Updated Pricing for COVID.

We are evolving our price structure to reflect the current state of the market. Initially our plan was to charge $30 to $40 a worker per month. Taking into consideration the challenges placed upon businesses during these times, we have switched to charging $10 per worker per month with free onboarding during COVID times.

8. New vesting functionality.

We have successfully launched a new fixed vesting functionality. Upstock is now able to directly replace stock options with vesting over months, quarters and years. We are also able to support dynamic performance equity so that our customers can utilize fixed equity, dynamic equity, or a combination of both in their equity planning.

9. Looking for new partnerships - can you make intros?

We need help bringing on more partners and would greatly appreciate any introductions you can make. We’re a great fit for financial services, VC firms, and some law firms.  

Example of how to make an intro: Upstock Helps Financial Service Firms - email template

Please visit Docs.upstock.io/Share for more resources and materials.

10. Substantially refreshed website materials.

In the past month we have substantially updated nearly every page on Upstock.io making it easier for customers to find materials and understand the value prop. Check it out: http://upstock.io

11. Preparing to launch the Upstock Ambassador Program.

We are currently working towards launching our ambassador program. Upstock Ambassadors will be able to start gaining equity by joining Upstock’s performance equity pool. Ambassadors that help bring on new clients will be rewarded with equity!  http://upstock.io/ambassadors

12. What’s next for Upstock?

We’re currently keeping our nose to the grindstone, bringing on new customers to Upstock and perfecting our sales process while maintaining a low burn rate.

We will continue to update and improve our sales and onboarding materials as well as making small tweaks and improvements to our product and website. We are upgrading our designs to be more visually consistent and more professional, as well as creating content to be used for our sales and marketing campaigns. Product improvements include rolling out ambassador and affiliate partnership programs.

13. How can you get more involved?

Know of a company that Upstock can help? Our ideal customers are start-ups and any company between seed and Series A funding.  

Please feel free to contact me directly or use the following link to schedule a meeting:  docs.upstok.io/calendar.

Looking forward to connecting with you!