Gauntlet uses Carta Total Comp to hire competitively in the surging Web3 industry

Jesse Kao
Head of Finance



Carta Total Comp

Company size




Founded in 2018, Gauntlet is on a mission to equip crypto-native organizations building decentralized systems with the right knowledge and tools to make the best decisions for their crypto products. “We aim to be the premiere financial services organization in the DeFi space,” says Gauntlet’s Head of Finance, Jesse Kao. “Our core products revolve around financial simulations, modeling, and incentive optimizations for decentralized finance protocols, with other releases coming in the near future.” The company has raised roughly $45 million in venture capital, which includes a $23.8 million Series B at a $1 billion valuation in March 2022.

Modeling potential outcomes on these new protocols has been a notoriously difficult problem for individual organizations to solve, partially because building the tooling would be a material lift for emerging companies that are already hard-pressed for engineering talent. “ At Gauntlet, we provide an easy way for protocols to see what effects certain changes, such as liquidation events or incentive restructuring, will have through its blockchain simulation platform,” says Jesse. This enables protocols to improve their capital efficiency and maximize stakeholder returns by minimizing risk.

Scaling and recruiting in a hypergrowth industry

In 2021, VCs deployed record levels of funding to crypto startups—LP commitments to new crypto-focused funds have also increased. By some accounts, the total dollars invested in 2021 globally by VCs in the space will be close to $30 billion, more than 5x what was logged in 2020.

This influx of capital has led to a jump in new companies being founded and funded, exacerbating a notoriously competitive landscape for talent in crypto. “This competition, and the growth we have planned fueled by our recent round, makes it imperative for us to have insights into compensation packages for candidates, as well as resources to define leveling,” says Jesse. “That’s where Carta Total Comp comes in.”

Carta Total Comp has been a huge help in creating base levels to build our processes on. Before we onboarded, the company didn’t have official levels for each employee. By using Total Comp, we were able to create that process and scale a lot faster.

Jesse Kao, Head of Finance

Laying the foundation for scale

Gauntlet has been building out its team and the products they offer. “Currently, we’re best known for our risk modeling and incentive optimization,” says Jesse. “The team here has many other irons in the fire and we can’t wait to launch them publicly.” With over 30 team members now, the company plans to double their staff in the coming months to both enable product expansion and support increased demand due to customer growth.

“Carta Total Comp has been a huge help in creating base levels to build our processes on,” says Jesse. “Before we onboarded, the company didn’t have official levels for each employee. By using Total Comp, we were able to create that process and scale a lot faster.”

Making competitive offers

Gauntlet also finds Total Comp helpful as they put together competitive offers. The Total Comp platform provides up-to-date data like salary bands and leveling guides to help companies make better offers more quickly. That’s important in a fast-growing industry, where swings in the ecosystem can happen monthly—even weekly. Unlike other providers that update annually or are filled with user-submitted information, Total Comp offers regularly updated, aggregated and anonymized data directly from peer companies, so users like Gauntlet have the best and most current data.

“The Bands feature in Total Comp is what I find the most helpful,” says Jesse. “Having such a robust dataset at your fingertips, in an easy-to-use format, has been extremely helpful for our team.”

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