Ryan is known as a founding investor who takes on the riskiest sectors and business models. Undaunted by regulatory risk around antiquated gambling laws and convinced of a new generation of sports fans indoctrinated into the world of reality TV and experiential media, he was the first institutional investor in the United States to bet on and validate Daily Fantasy Sports and online gambling. In 2011 a small team of performance marketers at Vistaprint founded DraftKings; Ryan seeded the company with $500k and for the first two years of the company’s existence was its sole institutional investor. In 2013 Ryan brokered DraftKings’ landmark partnership with Major League Baseball, paving the way for the company to establish partnerships with every major professional league and a majority of professional teams in the US. He has structured every round of capital on DraftKings’ cap table since its founding, facilitating over $900M in fundraising despite significant regulatory headwinds. Today, DraftKings is operating the first legal online sportsbook in the US and has 11M active users on its platform that generate over $3B in entry fees and handle. In 2012 Ryan was the founding investor in Plastiq, an online payments platform founded by Harvard undergrads. Payments is a legacy industry reluctant to change and fraught with regulatory barriers, but Ryan was undaunted by the risk of both the sector and first-time founders. Since founding, Ryan sourced and facilitated each of the company’s fundraising rounds, most recently bringing in Kleiner Perkins and DST for a $27M financing. Plastiq process over $1B in transactions annually. In 2013 Ryan was the founding investor in Crew, a design and development services marketplace. In 2017 he and the founders crafted and spun out Unsplash, the world’s largest photo sharing community built on the theme of decentralization of photos and visual content. Unsplash has outpaced both Shutterstock and Getty combined. In 2018, Ryan facilitated Unsplash’s $12M Series A with Bedrock Capital. Ryan is a well-networked fundraiser. Most recently he sourced and structured financings at Currencycloud (Sapphire Ventures, Series C/D, $43M; Google Ventures, Series E) and Skillz (Telstra and Liberty Media, Series C, $17M; NFL and Wildcat, Series D, $35M). Before joining Atlas, he sourced and facilitated the sale of Enpocket to Nokia, WHERE to Paypal, and Vela Systems to Autodesk. Ryan also sits on the board of MOO, Globoforce, and Secret Escapes, all of which generate over $100M in revenue annually. He graduated with an AB in economics from Princeton, where he captained the football team and served in the ROTC. He has three daughters under the age of 6.
Joe Caruso is the Owner of Batnam Group. For the last 20 years Joe has served as mentor, coach, and personal advisor to CEO's and entrepreneurs. In recent years, he has served as investor, advisor and active director with dozens of companies, public and private. Joe is currently a member of Launchpad Venture Group and was previously a member of Walnut Ventures, Common Angels, eCoast Angels and a principal of Brookwood Partners, all investment groups for early stage companies. He also maintains an active consulting practice dealing with structuring and negotiation of acquisitions, strategic partnerships and financings, and issues related to dispute resolution. He has served on dozens of boards over the years and is recipient of the Leadership in Private Corporate Governance award from the National Association of Corporate Directors New England Chapter. He is a graduate of Northeastern University (BSEE with honors) and the Harvard Business School (MBA) He has served as advisor to Northeastern's School of Technological Entrepreneurship, and serves as a mentor for Boston University's entrepreneurship program, the Boston TechStars program, and Mass Challenge. Previously, Joe served as interim CEO for companies in need of strategic change - running businesses ranging from 5 to 1,000 employees. Early in his career, he worked at Teradyne and Autex, Inc., and was CEO at Cyborg Corporation, a venture-funded company that was a pioneer in the use of PC's in laboratory and factory automation. He also has served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. Former board memberships include: ACT Medical, Acumenta, Adhesive Technologies, American Fantasy Sports, Audiofile, Boston Restaurant Associates, Boston University's Photonics Center (advisory director), Coffee Connection, Colonial Mills, Common Angels, Corion, Cyborg Corporation, General Analysis, Haymarket Bank, Iconics, i2Chem, Laser Science, Metrisa, MicroE, Nimbit, Qiave Technologies, QD Vision, Quant Funds (trustee); Tytronics, Wwwhoosh, Zentox, the Turnaround Management Association (founding director, New England Chapter), the National Association of Corporate Directors (New England Chapter), the Association for Corporate Growth (New England Chapter) and WEST (Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology). Joe has also served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.
Founder of Advanced Sports Media, LLC. Board of Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Dartmouth Engineering Degree. Kellogg MBA.
Grant Gurtin is a Co-Founder of Verb and also serves as its Chief Executive Officer. He serves as Director of Daily Fantasy Sports at CBSSports. Gurtin co-founded Fanium and also served as its CEO. He brings skills of sports data analysis into influencer marketing. His rare ability to spot trends in the market through numbers helps him to steer the Verb ship towards success. A confident leader, Grant is always available to explain his train of thought.