The seed was planted when Casey Fenton launched Couchsurfing with a team of volunteers who worked tirelessly. Unfortunately, he was unable to reward them with equity.
Founded in 2015, Upstock creates tools and shares knowledge that aligns founders, investors, and team members. We are modernizing the antiquated stock option system by offering a replacement that is simple, fair and inspiring to everyone.
In 2008, Casey and Joseph ‘Yos’ Goodman began looking for an alternative, new ecosystem that would allow
everyday team members to start earning equity instantly without an undue cash burden on the company. Gabriel Fenton brought the team together to lift an accessible platform for performance equity off the ground.
Upstock is the product of victories and trials as they attempted to break out of the Silicon Valley’s limited stock option system. Following a three-year test by Wonder, performance equity proved successful at combining corporate financial goals with sharing economy.
Casey is our leader and daily dose of inspiration. He streamlines a collaborative culture across our platform. As CouchSurfing and Sovolve’s original founder he’s focused his energy primarily on achieving their vision of a better world. He is a founder and CEO of Upstock and dedicated to finding a solution to the antiquated stock option system. He is motivated by saving founders time and money by deploying transparent performance equity pools shown in real-time. Team members start thinking like entrepreneurs, building value every step of the way.
Gabriel is a visionary, molding the future of Upstock, creating the connections and motivating the team members to make it happen. Gabriel is a founder of Upstock and Sovolve and as such he knows how successful startups operate. Gabriel is the pinnacle point in Upstock managing the operations of Upstock across the globe with skill and diplomacy. Gabriel is also a product development manager, and a previous user experience designer. His drive comes from a passion to make the world a better place through technology.
Yos is one of the brains behind Upstock and also one of the founders, bringing significant experience and enthusiasm. He is a seasoned entrepreneur and angel investor who balances our big dreams with careful due diligence. He has made direct investments across a range of industries around the US since 2005 including SaaS, Internet radio, social media, and commercial real estate. He also has an MBA in Corporate Social Responsibility from Daniels College at the University of Denver.
Cyan Banister is a partner at Founders Fund, where she invests in heavily regulated industries that help people with basic skills find meaningful work. Her specialities include recruiting, management, scaling operations, technical fire fighting and customer support. Cyan was also an active angel investor with a portfolio including Uber, Thumbtack, SpaceX, EShares, Postmates and Affirm. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Zivity, and the Co-founder of Signal Media Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes the accurate portrayal of science, technology, and history in popular media.
Proven international tech-savvy serial entrepreneur with multi-industrial and multi-cultural experience. Having bootstrapped a SaaS business within plan design, accounting, valuation and disclosure of equity-based incentives from start to sale to a major PE, Arne brings Upstock more than 15+ years of experience and global network within the equity-incentives industry. On a personal level, Arne has long-standing track record of identifying and bringing talent together and grooming them to form solid teams; building up businesses from scratch to the point of sale. Arne speaks Tech, Business and Finance (and three languages) and can bridge the growing “disconnect” between the three. He has the ability to quickly understand and navigate complex technologies, products and industries. Arne has a commercial instinct with a flair for people, strategy, sales and market communication and remembers to have fun along the way! Personal mantra:
“Change is good - change is Life”.
Richard is a globally experienced senior executive (CxO) with more than 20 years experience in digital transformation. He has co-founded start-ups and digital agencies including Prompt.ly, Razorfish & Schematic. He has led business divisions for Samsung Electronics, Associated Northcliffe Digital (DMGT owner of the Daily Mail) and the BBC to award-winning levels of performance recognized by CES, GSMA, Techcrunch and the Wall Street Journal. Richard is a great believer in the softer human skills needed to build, fix and lead amazing organizations.
Pawlo is a experienced web developer, software engineer and problem-solver who seeks to merge technology and community improvement. He has worked as a software engineer for an HR company and several other prominent companies in Paris, France. Pawlo speaks several languages and has lived all over the world. As a previous software developer for Sovolve, Pawlo brings an enthusiasm for web development to Upstock.
Janielle gets the Upstock name out there. As the CEO of RainFactory Inc, Janielle bridges the gap between people and products through strategic customer acquisition. Her work includes online marketing/media planning, web site traffic growth, online advertising and campaign management. She has a natural ability to communicate complex information to diverse audiences at all levels of an organization. She has achieved industry recognition for her clients by launching brand awareness campaigns, achieving both optimization and growth.
Daniel launched his first company in high school and his entrepreneurial career has grown ever since. He is a well known business strategist and recently became a VC with Tandem Capital. He is a founder and former CEO of CouchSurfing. Daniel has deep product management expertise from executive product roles at NortonLive (Symantec) and TripIt (Concur/SAP). Daniel has featured in Inc. Magazine, Time Magazine, the New York Times and the Boston Globe, and appeared on ABC Nightline, NBC News and national radio. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Business School.
A natural creator, Maxim takes a company’s intention and transforms it visually. He has studied design and communication and is an expert in design, branding, UI/UX and building tech-products. Other projects include co-founding a job matching company. He joins the startup world bringing international experience working for startups and big corporate companies to use design for community progress. Max makes sure that the branding and design not only looks good but also promotes and supports the company functionally and strategically.
Parimal is our fixer, he sees intercepts problems and keeps our ship running smoothly. After nearly a decade of experience as a Senior QA Engineer, he founded his own testing company. Simply put, his experience software testing makes systems work.
Robert has worked with Gabe and Casey in the past on projects like Sovolve, and Wonder App. He is the Founder & CEO of Float, a digital marketing agency that specializes in building scale-able client acquisition machines. His area of expertise is paid traffic and marketing automation and he specializes in platforms like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Drip, Ontraport, Hubspot, WordPress, Thrive Leads, Social Pilot and more. He focuses on the numbers, and makes sure every KPI is tracked and measured. He can tell you weekly if the cost to acquire a client (CAC) has changed, and which KPI was behind it.
Farley keeps Upstock competitive with proven, well-known industry standards. Farley is a veteran in the field of systems administration with years of experience in both small companies and large enterprises. He has authored and launched over 30 mobile applications and launched a number of his own or partnered startups. During the last 10 years he has worked around the globe and joins the team after a long working relationship with CouchSurfing.
Renata is an international lawyer and mediator with knowledge in EU and US law. She worked in e-commerce during her university years and is now focused keeping businesses out of the courtroom in the first place. Renata is committed to finding creative solutions and helping businesses achieve the protection they deserve. She is motivated to change the way people think about lawyers and the legal industry.
Virginia is an English solicitor with ten years experience working in commercial law for a top London law firm and more recently a multi-million international company. She has experience in startup companies, including launching her own company. Virginia has a sharp eye for detail and ensuring customer satisfaction. Virginia is proactive in finding alternative solutions and provides valuable advice. Virginia has lived and worked in 6 different countries and speaks 4 languages.
Scott manages Upstock’s financial affairs. His passion is to help organizations manage finances and business processes by leveraging technology, improving systems and integrating the human element into the financial model. He has helped lead the successful merger of over 30 local divisions of a nationwide non-profit into a single, centralized accounting system. He feels that all change and process improvement begins with listening deeply to a client's needs and concerns.
Fred has been providing consulting, expert witness, and litigation support services in the compensation field for over 30 years. Fred is recognized by many corporations, major professional organizations, universities, media, and colleagues around the world as a compensation expert and thought leader. His ideas have been presented in numerous books, articles, media interviews and conferences. His globally-recognized expertise in executive compensation, incentive compensation, equity compensation and employment agreements has provided valuable support in a variety of legal cases. He is helping ensure our legal documents are as bulletproof as possible based on his professional experience with disputes and litigation related to equity compensation.
Cansu knows the importance of digital and traditional marketing to create 360° marketing strategies. Her background is in advertising, at llancilik, Turkey’s first advertising agency, which is why she is a professional in marketing communication. She has the skills to spread the business into different channels across the world. Cansu graduated from the communication faculty of Galatasaray University and has also worked in the political and tourism industries.