MyVR - About Us

The open platform for the vacation rental industry

Our history

There had to be a better way

In 2012, MyVR co-founders Jonathan Murray and Michael Stachowiak were lamenting how difficult it was to manage their vacation rental properties while working full-time jobs. While there appeared to be dozens of legacy software solutions for larger professional property managers, they saw nothing targeting the small property manager or individual owner — and among those legacy solutions, nothing that seemed modern or easy-to-use. Having just successfully sold their prior startup, Jon and Mike teamed up with Markus Nordvik and agreed to commit the next phase of their lives to solving this challenging problem.

A study around the same time (by Global Radius Market Research) showed that about half of all professional property managers in the U.S. fit into this category: Too big to operate well without software but too small to make the clunky legacy solutions geared toward large PMs work. In fact, the study showed that almost two-thirds of small property managers didn’t yet use software and almost half of them didn’t even have a bookable website! This was in addition to the 57 percent of the U.S. vacation rental market that was rented directly by owners — virtually none of whom used software to manage their business. Very few even had their own property websites!

The MyVR team saw this lack of technological tools to be a real problem, particularly for a $100 billion industry that seemed to be on the verge of explosive growth. It seemed then that the need for software was only going to increase: The days of activities like faxing contracts, depositing paper checks, sending emails manually to inquiries and renters (across multiple distribution channels) were over. As vacation rentals continued to go mainstream, competition increased, distribution channels expanded, and bookings and payments moved from almost entirely offline to almost entire online. Software would become a necessity

Our approach

Solving a big problem takes fresh perspective

MyVR is on a mission to build the most robust and easy-to-use software available to vacation rental owners and property managers. More than that, our goal is to build a powerful open platform for the alternative accommodations industry.

Were focused on building robust and powerful software for owners and property managers. Our open platform approach also opens the platform to outside developers and service providers who can build on top of our platform.

This helps ensure our customers will always have access to best in class products and services, connected to the software they use to run their business.

This is a huge win for owners and property managers — they’re no longer stuck with archaic, legacy solutions with proprietary, vertically integrated systems that box people in, and hold their data hostage, and limit the choice of features and functionality.

As our developer community continues to grow, customers will increasingly have access to great technology solutions and services without ever needing to change software companies.

Our values

Our industry is built on respect. So is MyVR.

Your vacation rental business relies on the quality of your relationships — with guests, service providers, and the owners you work with. MyVR is focused on achieving results and getting things done for the owners, property managers, and third-party developers we work with. We’re committed to doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, putting people before personal agendas.

Our team



Jonathan Murray
CEO
Jonathan leads MyVR's product development, corporate strategy, and business development. Before starting MyVR, he co-founded Lift Media (acquired), an e-commerce advertising platform that worked with clients such as American Express, Netflix, and Fandango. He started MyVR after the frustration of setting up his own Sonoma cottage as a vacation rental. He studied engineering at Bucknell University and received his MBA from Stanford University.
Mike Stachowiak
CTO
Mike heads up engineering, setting MyVR's platform architecture and technology strategy. He's a serial technology entrepreneur and owner of a Lake Tahoe vacation rental. Before MyVR, he co-founded two other companies, Lift Media (acquired) and 4INFO ($70M+ raised). His lead generation and technology experience have helped him find innovative ways to make vacation rental marketing easier. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan with a degree in computer engineering.
Markus Nordvik
COO
Markus is responsible for engineering operations, technology integrations, and customer success. Formerly, Markus was the co-founder and VP of Engineering at 4INFO, leading a team of 35 engineers building a mobile advertising platform. He received his BS degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University.
Jesse Kasky
Sr. Software Engineer
Jesse was the first member of our software development team, and he has been instrumental in architecting our platform. He wrote his first piece of software when he was 9, and has not stopped since. Previously, he has previously worked at Hotmail (pre-acquisition), Microsoft and more recently spent seven years at Google.
Tristan Brotherton
Product Design / UX Engineer
Tristan is a tactician who loves to build great products, possessing a rare combination of design, UX, and software development skills. Tristan specializes in designing products from the ground up, honing his craft at numerous startups over the past decade. Previous adventures include founding an outsourcing company in Ukraine and several venture funded start-ups.
CJ Avilla
Sr. Software Engineer
CJ meant it when he set out to learn the full stack: in 2011 he deployed to Afghanistan and built a network for 50,000 subscribers over satellite, fiber, radio and microwave for the Army, all from scratch. In his past lives, CJ has been an instructor at the App Academy, written code to track insider trading, and programmed liquid-handling robots.
Danny Eiden
Software Engineer
Danny is a software developer with a bias for action, focusing on rapidly coding up requirements and getting features into the hands of the customer. He graduated from Northwestern University summa cum laude with a BS in computer engineering, where he TA'd a startup class.
Bryan Keeney
Sr. Software Engineer
Prior to joining the team Bryan worked in casino gaming and consumer finance where he built products with a focus on customer usability. He graduated from Oregon Institute of Technology with a bachelors in software engineering and a minor in mathematics. In his spare time he enjoys long walks in the mountains and playing ultimate frisbee.
George Spark-Stahl
Sr. Software Engineer
Senior engineer with 15 years of software development experience in small and large teams. A genuinely nice guy with a striving eagerness to expand knowledge in new technologies, bees, and building rad stuff. Previously, George wrote the software for IGT's gaming machines.
Tommy Kilmer
Software Engineer
After graduating Yale with a degree in philosophy and an interest in startups, Tommy set out to learn software development by attending App Academy. In his spare time, he enjoys competing at Ultimate Frisbee, improvising on the piano, and cooking + eating pasta.
David Callander
Sales Executive
For over 30 years, David has developed applications and services for world-class hotel brands to generate guest loyalty and increase profit margins.
Wendy Gold
Technical Support Representative
Wendy helps our customers get the most out of MyVR. Wendy has a Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics/computer science from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has honed her technical support skills over years of working with various programing languages such as Ruby and SQL. When she’s not talking to our customers, Wendy enjoys reading, playing video games, or simply enjoying life with her family and cats.
Jennifer Lewis
Marketing
Jen heads up marketing, setting MyVR’s go-to-market strategy – generating demand for our platform and building the MyVR brand. She is passionate about helping small and midsized businesses be more successful through the adoption of technology. Although Jen has spent much of her career at larger companies such as Intuit, this is her second start-up. She studied Radio/TV/Film at Northwestern University and received her MBA from Duke University.

Our investors

MyVR is thankful to have some of the best and most helpful investors out there. We couldn't do it without them. The long list include awesome folks like Y Combinator, True Ventures, SV Angel, Chris Dixon, Alex Rampell, Paul Buchheit, Clem Bason, and Ben Boyer.