Ledgy, a carta for European startups to manage equity and cap tables, raises $22M from NEA, Sequoia and more

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Cap tables and managing equity in high-growth companies can be a complicated (and sometimes messy) business, a fact that founders and employees often discover too late. It spawned a wave of companies making software to help, and today a European leader in that pack is announcing some funding to fuel its development. Ledi, a Zurich-based startup that creates cap table management software specifically for companies and their employees operating in multiple countries, has raised $22 million, a Series B that it will use for hiring, further product development. Trying to bring in more users.

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Lady’s platform today covers tools for finance, human resources, legal and VC teams, as well as employees themselves, and is used to provide a snapshot of a company’s equity position at a given moment, And to help employees and companies manage what they can choose to do so over time. CEO and co-founder Yoko Spirig said in an interview that the company has some 2,000 companies as customers today, up from 1,500 a year ago, and revenue has doubled.

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Significantly, its rise coincides with an interesting moment for European technology. We are starting to see a lot more European startups opting to stay in Europe to increase funding and scale rather than transplant to the US, as they were expected to do in the past, and also for those companies The issue of equity awards. Employees are only increasing. Lady counts some of the largest startups in the European ecosystem among its clients, including Peak, Getir, Cry, Moniz, Celina Finance, Gorilla, Choco, Allen, Penilane and Scalpay.

Lady has some impressive names on her cap table. The round is being led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with Sequoia Capital, SpeedInvest, BTOV, Visionaries Club, and unnamed angels also participating. Sequoia (as part of its much bigger move into Europe) led its Series A $10 million Lady’s move a year ago, and with this latest round, NEA partner Jonathan Golden is joining Sequoia’s Luciana Lixandrew on board. Huh. It has raised $33.5 million so far.

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Ledgy’s sweet spot is working with companies whose employees are located in different jurisdictions, and building a product for them that serves as both a finance and human resources tool.

While Carta, and more recently several companies such as AngelList and Puli (up to $6.8 billion, $4 billion, and $300 million for young pulleys, respectively) continue to make waves in the US market, Ledy sees an opportunity to build on those scenarios. Where companies want to provide equity to international employees, there is a need to balance differences in rules and culture while doing so.

“We started in a fragmented Europe, which was a curse and a blessing,” said Sprigg. “It forced us to serve customers with international teams.”

Lady almost stumbled upon it by accident, Spirig said.

He and his co-founders (CTO Timo Horstshaffer and CPO Ben Brandt) were working on a different startup in Zurich in the area of ​​security – “a Signal version of Slack” was Spirig’s fascinating description. He was chatting with another co-founder who showed him how he was managing equities and his cap table: it was all on a spreadsheet.

“It was a huge Excel file,” she recalled, “and each single share took up a row.”

Managing that was “an absolute nightmare,” she continued, but that wasn’t the only problem. Not only was the startup’s team based outside of Switzerland, but “that team didn’t really understand what equity is.”

Surprisingly, there was not an off-the-shelf product on the market to address that triangular scenario: equity management, with tools for employees, capable of being used in multiple countries.

“The way we approach this is historically different that people used to manage with paper, then Excel, then software like Sharework,” Spirig said. “But people in Europe didn’t understand the value of equity, so we wanted to make sure the employee experience was part of it. It’s a switch from a financial-only product to a product that isn’t even aimed at people.”

That founder and his company are still Lady’s customers, Spirig said.

The company today focuses heavily on primary equity and provides companies and their employees with the tools to understand and manage it. This includes integration with a third-party, Semper, to manage secondary trades; paves and figures for benchmark compensation; and about 40 popular HR platforms used by companies to manage other types of compensation and benefits. It also opens the door to functionalities and features that Lady may choose to build herself (or bolt through acquisitions) in the future.

Golden at the NEA said in a statement, “Through my lens as an investor in the NEA, along with my previous experience at category-defining companies such as Airbnb, Dropbox and HubSpot, I have seen a central role in building sustainable companies. ” , “The equity management challenge is particularly acute in Europe, with different legal frameworks governing equities in each country. Lady has built a smart and powerful equity software platform and an incredible, best-in-one tool to support it. The class team has built up. Yoko, Ben and Timo understand the challenges facing companies as they scale, and we are thrilled to partner with the Lady Team as they continue to reinforce this That’s how companies think about equity and ownership.”

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