Seed-stage firm Valor Ventures has used Carta for its fund administration since its first fund, which launched in 2017. The Atlanta-based firm largely focuses on SaaS investing in the Southeast and especially seeks to back underrepresented founders.
Recently, Valor started using Carta’s Investor API, one of the four core APIs in Carta’s Developer Platform. The Investor API allows institutional investors such as VC firms to retrieve company data for portfolio monitoring, analysis, and reporting. Carta APIs make it easy for institutional investors to export Carta data for downstream analysis and reporting out to LPs.
For Valor, the Investor API means the firm can now further leverage Carta—to export data for spreadsheet analysis or integrate with Salesforce, which Valor uses to consolidate its portfolio data.
“Carta is like our everything,” says Venture Partner Jean-Luc VanHulst, who manages back-office operations for the firm, which has now raised three funds.
Portfolio company info at GP’s fingertips
Jean-Luc says the Salesforce and Carta API integration creates a “digital twin.”
“It has everything that’s in Carta, but also everything that’s not in Carta,” Jean-Luc says. “So we can do our fundraise, our portfolio pipeline, our portfolio data reporting, all the customer data, revenue, EBITDA, all those things. Everything that we know about our portfolio companies is in there.”
Carta is basically a requirement. If we are going to invest in a company, we expect them to be on Carta.
Venture partner, Valor Ventures
In his role running back-office operations, Jean-Luc regularly uses the Carta platform directly, but for GPs and analysts, being able to access real-time Carta data in their existing Salesforce workflows has been key.
“Cap tables have a big structure and a lot of depth, but now the parts that are important for the GPs and the analysts can be extracted in a way that leaves out a lot of the unnecessary details,” says Jean-Luc.
This makes it easy for GPs and analysts at Valor to see data they need for internal reporting, like keeping track of the firm’s ownership percentage in various portfolio companies, tracking when that changes during a fundraise, how much a company has raised, or tracking the size of a company’s option pool and how much of it has been exercised.
Before integrating with Carta’s API, Jean-Luc was inputting this information manually. Now this data updates in Salesforce automatically.
“Things like that are very helpful to have easy real-time access to,” says Jean-Luc.
Carta’s Investor API has also made audit season easier for Valor.
“One of the things that I always create for the auditor is a single spreadsheet that has all the cap tables of all the portfolio companies in one spreadsheet, with a tab for each company. And I can do that fully automatically now,” says Jean-Luc.
Thanks to the Carta API, “I know that I always have up-to-date digital copies of the cap table, so I can confidently share them with our auditor.” Valor portfolio companies use Carta and have turned on the Cap Table Share function, making it easy for their investors to see their cap table in the Carta product, or to access the data through a Carta API.
Jean-Luc says that using Carta more has changed the way he works with his auditor. “In the latest interaction, Carta has really been leading the annual report process. The auditor has been using almost everything they’ve got from Carta.”
This has saved Jean-Luc a significant amount of time.
“It’s changed quite a bit over the past few years. I used to be doing much more work that Carta is now basically doing. Carta has become a better accounting software, a better reporting software, and a better data store as well.”
‘Carta is basically a requirement’
Valor has seen such a benefit from working with Carta—and has seen such synergy from its portfolio companies that also use the Carta platform—that the company has written a new requirement into its term sheets.
“Carta is basically a requirement,” Jean-Luc says. “If we are going to invest in a company, we expect them to be on Carta.”