409a valuations are a dinosaur industry. They cost a lot of money for little benefit. Carta is working to change that.
We’ve been running an open beta of Carta Launch—a free version of Carta for early-stage companies available through law firms—for several months. Launch allows early-stage companies to join and utilize Carta for free until they raise over $500K or pass 25 security holders.
This month, we’ll see our thousandth company sign up for Launch. These companies have already raised over $200M (in aggregate), and we’re now opening the beta to work with all law firms on Carta, so if you’re a founder working on something new, it’s now even easier for you to join as one of the next 1,000 companies we serve on Launch!
Why we started Carta Launch
I joined Carta after a decade as a Silicon Valley corporate lawyer and start-up operator. Along the way, I’ve worked with scores of founders on hundreds of transactions, raised institutional venture rounds, cleaned up equity messes, and audited more cap histories than I care to remember. When I first joined Carta, I traveled around listening to our customers and partners—including law firms, outsourced CFO shops, and venture funds.
It became clear that Carta needed to welcome founders from the start, allowing them to keep a clean cap history from the very beginning. Doing this would help many thousands of companies, as well as our partners.
Here’s why companies should join Launch:
Onboarding earlier is better than later
Getting onto any robust cap management solution requires an implementation that includes accurate data for the company’s entire cap history. The earlier a company joins, the more straightforward this process will be.
Launch allows companies to join Carta before cap complexity proliferates. It’s an ideal option for tracking founder shares and early equity grants, as well as convertible notes and SAFEs—providing transparency for all holders.
Companies that onboard via Launch will never need to complete a traditional implementation down the road. As your company matures and wants to access 409A valuations, scenario modeling, and more, you can seamlessly upgrade to a premium plan at any time and even upgrade online and receive your first Carta 409A in less than a day—no onboarding spreadsheet required.
Prevent unnecessary clean-up
It’s far too common to hear that a company’s first institutional round (often Series A) was delayed due to cap table clean-up. However, virtually all clean-up work is avoidable.
With Launch, companies can have perfect provenance on their cap histories from the start. If a company starts out on Launch, security issuances either happened in Carta, or they didn’t happen. The company’s entire cap table history is audit-tracked and documented—bullet-proof from a diligence perspective.
Launch opens Carta’s powerful tracking, board approval, and built-in compliance features to new companies, for free. This allows founders to move faster and close rounds more quickly.
Carta is becoming the industry standard
Many leading law firms, venture funds, and accelerator programs have taken notice of how Carta benefits their companies. Carta helps them perform critical work—from serving clients to tracking their positions—and they are working to standardize their organizations’ workflows around Carta as their centralized database of ownership information.
Historically, our pricing model often prevented companies from joining Carta until their initial fundraising events. This pushed young companies to use other—often unscalable—options, or a plethora of Excel files floating around inboxes or cloud folders, and then migrate to Carta later on. Launch lets founders benefit from the use of Carta before they raise.
Improve important working relationships
We’ve seen how much Carta benefits important working relationships across our ecosystem. To give a few examples:
- Carta helps founding teams collaborate efficiently with their counsel. No more late-night emails to track down the latest cap table. Everyone can move faster, and your counsel is freed up to work as a critical strategic advisor.
- Carta helps accelerators prepare their companies for future success. Install best practices from the start and help teams focus on building their businesses.
- Carta helps founders provide visibility and transparency to their investors. No more confusion about Excel versions, the current fully diluted count, or where they can see current holdings.
We want to empower companies to run fast while allowing advocates to help proactively and stay up-to-date. Launch will help strengthen these critical relationships, serving founders from the start so they can win at every stage.
We’re excited to help founders start off right, and we look forward to seeing you on Launch!
Have questions or want to learn more?
Contact us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to join Launch today? There are a few ways to get started:
- Tell your lawyer to add you — we even wrote the note for you!
- Onboard directly through one of our partners, such as Stripe Atlas (if you incorporated via Atlas, you can access Launch via your Atlas dashboard).
- Don’t have a lawyer? Contact us and we’ll help you get started.
DISCLOSURE: This communication is on behalf of eShares Inc., d/b/a Carta, Inc. (“Carta”). This communication is not to be construed as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice and is for informational purposes only. This communication is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Carta does not assume any liability for reliance on the information provided herein.
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