In 2020, with the move toward a distributed workforce, corporate venture capital investors have continued to show an appetite for investing in innovation. During the second half of 2020, large corporations strengthened their commitment to venture capital, recording the highest number of deals with 25.7% of all VC deals and representing 47.8% of overall VC deal value according to the NVCA-Pitchbook Venture Monitor.
We sat down with Austin Arensberg, Managing Director of Okta Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Okta to talk about CVCs, how they use Carta, and how CVCs can set themselves up for continued success in the market.
Can you tell us a little bit about Okta ventures?
At Okta we were fortunate during our time as a startup to be backed by industry leading VCs and we understand the value venture can provide to building the business. We decided to set up Okta Ventures to leverage our identity product expertise and strengthen partnerships through equity investments in startups.
Why do you think there’s been an uptick in CVC creation recently?
The venture capital space has grown significantly in the past 5-10 years. When this industry started, there were only large, institutional investors that had access to invest in startups. We have seen the shift to a large number of micro VC firms being founded. Naturally, corporations with accessible capital have followed the same trend to help support their ecosystems and grow their industries.
What are you able to accomplish by using Carta?
The founders Okta invests in rely on our help. Whether they’re looking for sales, marketing, or product support, we need to be there for them. With Okta’s portfolio companies using Carta, we’re able to get financials and company performance directly from the platform. Carta helps streamline our financial management and accounting processes which can be extremely time consuming, leaving us with more time for working with founders to help grow their companies.
Why did Okta end up choosing Carta?
For Okta, the limited partners are our finance team and executives, and we see Carta as the de-facto choice to provide accurate and real-time data to them and have a secure environment for our financial information. Carta enables us to do this in a very clean way. Additionally, all of our portfolio companies were already using Carta to send their investors financial data and display their ownership stakes. We always demo new tools in our financial reporting tech stack, but there was not a comparable tool in terms of performance and customer base.
How does Carta help your leadership team get insight into the way your CVC is performing?
Carta is a ledger of record that allows our leadership team to trust the flow of our information through with transparency and real-time tracking. We know that we can trust the Carta cap table over the traditional excel spreadsheets which are prone to human error. Carta reduces the complexity of financial requests and tracking and puts all of our investments in an easy to digest format for reporting that our execs can see.