When venture firm QED Investors needed to select a fund administrator, leadership turned to Carta for its innovative technology and potential to scale with the firm’s growing needs, according to CFO Jamie Loving.
Founded in 2008 by Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris, QED has solely focused on banking, payments, lending, and other financial services—what today has become known as “fintech.”
QED has invested in more than 200 companies across 18 countries over five continents. It has more than $3.6 billion under management, and includes a team of 21 investors, 13 members of its platform operations team, several senior advisors and executives-in-residence, and a boutique in-house talent recruitment team.
While the internal team has grown in response to the opportunity presented by a burgeoning global fintech ecosystem, the internal processes remained, until recently, largely manual.
The reason: For nearly a decade, QED managed fund administration internally. As the firm began accepting outside investors in 2016, the growing number of funds and limited partners (LPs) necessitated a change, which included adding Katya Marin as controller to assist with all that comes with having outside LPs.
By 2021, however, the number of funds and LPs had grown too large for QED to continue to do everything internally. Jamie and Katya saw the need for outside fund administration. Their extensive search for a software-driven fund admin ended in 2021 with their decision to bring in Carta.
I don’t think we can imagine being anywhere else. … We love the fact that so many of our companies also use Carta. It really does create a lot of synergies.
Betting on growth
“When we launched QED Fund VII, LP and our first Growth Fund (QED Growth Fund, LP) in 2021, we were launching funds of $558 million and $508 million with just over 100 LPs,” Jamie said. “There was just no way we could do it ourselves anymore. And it really didn’t make sense for us to augment our internal team—what we really needed to augment was our technology.
“After we surveyed all the different options out there, we felt that Carta’s foundation as a technology company would really allow Carta to build, grow, and expand in the fund admin business and become exceptional at it.”
Since partnering with Carta for fund administration, QED further leveraged Carta’s products and services, including Portfolio Insights and AML/KYC compliance. The platform proved essential in managing relationships with limited partners by offering streamlined access to vital documents and information. Carta’s Portfolio Insights product facilitated better communication with LPs by tracking portfolio company performance, stability, and growth, enabling robust quarterly reporting for over 130 portfolio companies.
“We’re thrilled,” Jamie said. “The technology keeps getting better and better and the Carta team takes our feedback and works to incorporate that information into future releases.”
LP relationships and Portfolio Insights
“Carta’s platform has been essential for managing relationships with limited partners,” said Jamie, who explained that important documents are organized to help LPs locate and access them at any time. “When LPs come to us and ask us questions, we can help them, but usually the answer is already in their Carta portal.
“Carta is a really good combination of technology that will take you 80% of the way there and really smart humans who will get you the last 20% of the way.”
Seamless KYC Compliance
Carta’s AML/KYC compliance services also streamlined QED’s operations, making the process “seamless and integrated.” Previously, when using another third-party provider, the experience was disjointed, with the team spending significant time tracking down information. Carta’s possession of the necessary information made the entire process efficient and hassle-free.
QED is “thrilled with the decision” to work with Carta, Jamie added. “I don’t think we can imagine being anywhere else, at this juncture. We love the fact that so many of our companies also use Carta. It really does create a lot of synergies.”