Managing cap tables and equity in a high-growth company can be a complex (and sometimes messy) business, and founders and employees often discover this fact too late. This has sparked a wave of companies building software to help, and today the European leader in the field announced some funding to push itself forward. LegyA Zurich-based startup that specializes in building cap management software for companies working in multiple countries and their employees has raised $22 million in a Series B funding round for hiring, further product development and attracting more users.
Today, Ledgy’s platform spans tools from finance, HR, legal, and venture capital teams, as well as the employees themselves, both to provide a snapshot of the company’s equity state at a given moment, and to help employees and companies manage what they may do over time. choose to do so over time. The company has about 2,000 companies as customers today, up from 1,500 a year ago, and has doubled its revenue, CEO and co-founder Yoko Spirig said in an interview.
Notably, its rise coincides with an interesting moment in European tech. We’re starting to see more and more European startups choosing to stay in Europe to raise capital and scale, rather than transplant to the US as expected in the past, and with that comes the issue of equity awards for these companies and employees are just growing . Ledgy’s clients include some of the larger startups in the European ecosystem, including Peak, Getir, Kry, Monese, Selina Finance, Gorillas, Choco, Alan, Pennylane and Scalapay.
Ledgy itself has some impressive names on its own cap table. The round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation from Sequoia Capital, Speedinvest, btov, Visionaries Club and unnamed angels. Sequoia (as part of its larger foray into Europe) led Ledgy’s $10 million Series A a year ago, and in the latest round NEA partner Jonathan Golden will join Sequoia’s Luciana Lixandru’s board. To date, it has raised $33.5 million.
The sweet spot for Ledgy is to work with companies whose employees are spread across different jurisdictions and develop a product for them that works both as a financial tool and as an HR tool.
And some companies like Carta, and more recently AngelList and pulley (valuing the young Pulley at $6.8 billion, $4 billion, and up to $300 million) Continuing to make waves in the U.S. market, Ledgy sees an opportunity to target companies that want to offer equity to international employees and need to balance that Regulatory and cultural differences.
“It’s a curse and a blessing that we start with a fragmented Europe,” Sprigg said. “This forces us to serve our clients with an international team.”
Ledgy discovered this almost by accident, Spirig said.
She and her co-founders (CTO Timo Horstschaefer and CTO Ben Brandt) are working on another startup in the security space in Zurich — “Slack’s version of Signal” is Spirig’s catchy description of it. They’re chatting with another co-founder, who shows them how he manages his equity and his cap table: it’s all on a spreadsheet.
“It was a huge Excel file,” she recalls, “on one line per file.”
She went on to say that managing it was “a complete nightmare”, but it wasn’t the only problem.not only The startup’s team is based outside Switzerland, but “that The team didn’t really understand what fairness was. ”
Surprisingly, there is no off-the-shelf product on the market that addresses this triangulation scenario: equity management, which provides employees with tools that can be used in multiple countries.
“We approach this differently, people used to use paper for management, then Excel, then software like Shareworks,” Spirig said. “But in Europe, people don’t understand the value of equity, so we want to make sure our employees Experience becomes part of that. It’s a shift from a product that’s just for finance to a product that doesn’t target people.”
That founder and his company are still Ledgy customers, Spirig said.
Companies today are very focused on junior equity and provide companies and their employees with the tools to understand and manage it. This includes integration with third-party Semper to manage secondary transactions; Pave and Figures for benchmark compensation; and about 40 popular HR platforms that companies use to manage other types of compensation and benefits. It also opens the door to future functions and features that Ledgy may choose to build on its own (or consolidate through acquisitions).
The fact that the company also serves its employees themselves is the fact that it wants to help it maintain a moat around its business as companies like Carta expand its sites further afield. (Indeed, Charter Acquired UK rival Capdesk, earlier this year, it has also been building equity management for European companies, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that space. As Spirig pointed out when I mentioned Capdesk to her, it exists in Europe, yes, but it doesn’t address the challenge of managing equity for clients in multiple international jurisdictions at the same time. )
“Through my perspective as an NEA investor, combined with my past experience defining companies in categories like Airbnb, Dropbox and Hubspot, I see ownership playing a central role in building enduring companies,” NEA’s Golden said in a statement . “The equity management challenge is particularly acute in Europe, where each country has a different legal structure to manage equity. Ledgy has created a smart and robust equity software platform and built an incredible first-class team to support it. Yoko, Ben and Timo understand the challenges companies face as they scale, and we’re excited to work with the Ledgy team as they continue to reshape the company’s view of equity and ownership.”