We live in a world where everything is owned by a person, or more commonly, a group of people. Startups, the office buildings those startups work in, the patents they create; farmland, the machines used to till the soil, the wheat that comes from it—everything has an owner. But very few people own what they’re building.
Ownership is important because capital is permanent and compounds. An hourly wage or a salary is a debt product (“I owe you money”) with a bi-weekly coupon (“I’ll pay you every other week”). By definition, debt grows linearly. But equity can grow exponentially. As long as there is a divide between those who own and those who do not, there will be an accelerating divide in wealth.
Ownership also creates alignment. A company of owners moves together toward the long-term outcomes of the business. It is a company that solves problems together, grows together, and reaps the rewards of all that hard work together. And the more people that benefit from the outcomes of a business, the more people have the financial freedom to start their own. Democratizing access to ownership also democratizes opportunity for innovation.
We see an opportunity to expand the global ownership graph so that everyone has the opportunity to own a portion of what they build. That’s why we built the infrastructure to make it as cheap and easy to issue equity as it is to run payroll. It’s why we’re lowering the barriers to start investing through software. And it’s why we will always provide the education and tools necessary for owners everywhere. We believe that by providing the infrastructure that fuels innovation, we lower the barriers to entry and move the world forward into an era of ownership.
By moving stock certificates from paper to the cloud, we take the first step in mapping and expanding the global ownership graph and lowering the cost of ownership. Stock certificate “CS-1” was issued on April 26, 2013.
Ownership is global. The first international customer joins eShares from the UK a year after we incorporate.
Traditional 409A valuations can be costly and frustrating. In 2014, we launch 409A-as-a-service to provide our customers with cost-effective, audit-ready, fast valuations on the same platform where they already manage their cap tables.
We have always dreamed of a world where private markets are as transparent and liquid as public ones. In 2015, we launch our first secondary offering and a platform where private companies can easily administer liquidity programs.
With automated valuations, secondary transactions, and support for public companies, we are more than issuing electronic shares. In November 2017, we change our name to reflect our evolved offering.
Investors want to focus on their deals, not dealing with their back office. We launch our fund administration product line with the robust software and expert services that allow them to spend more time investing.
With 800K users on Carta in 2018, we are able to analyze how equity ownership is distributed by gender, race, and ethnicity. We release the first report of its kind on the state of equity ownership and have published an annual report every year since.
It has never been easier to start a company—and we believe it should be just as easy to raise a SAFE and build your cap table. Carta Launch offers early-stage founders a free program to get started on Carta.
Our Carta Ventures arm helps us seed the next generation of venture investors who will back the next generation of founders.
Equity is complicated—but it doesn’t need to be. We build our Equity 101 program to provide free, interactive financial education that helps people understand the value of equity and become more confident managing it.
With offices and experts from the US to Brazil to Singapore, we empower innovators everywhere to bring their big ideas to the world.
To me, being an innovator means doing impactful, but behind-the-scenes work that maybe you don’t get credit for.
Our hypothesis is that, over multiple cycles, we’ll be able to disrupt the homogeneity in tech and create this virtuous cycle of wealth and opportunity. One led by, and for, underrepresented talent of color.
Being unapologetically Julia, I open up space for folks who come to work with me to do the same. When we’re actually living in our authenticity, that’s where the magic happens.
I have a philosophy of telling folks what you’re going to do, go do it, then come back and show them you did it.