Looking to 2019 tech IPOs, fintech startup Carta raises $80M at $800M valuation
Carta Inc., a financial technology startup that helps fellow tech companies manage their equity programs, today announced that it has secured $80 million in funding at a $800 million valuation.
The Series D round doubles the valuation that Carta received after its previous raise last year. Meritech Capital and Tribe Capital jointly led the investment, with participation from a number of the backers that took part in the startup’s earlier rounds.
Carta offers a cloud service designed to streamline the once paper-based processes involved in managing a private company’s equity. It provides capabilities that help firms sort out the logistics of raising capital, issue stock options to employees and manage the capitalization tables in which they keep track of who owns what. Carta’s feature set also covers related tasks such as sharing internal documents with board members.
Carta helps manage more than $500 billion in equity for some 10,000 companies, including many from from the tech industry. Among the startup’s clients are Slack Technologies Inc., Squarespace Inc. and Robinhood Market Inc., a fellow fintech player that recently raised funding at a $5.6 billion valuation.
“We’ve come this far by changing how ownership management works for private companies — popularizing electronic securities and cap table software, combined with audit-ready 409As, Carta Vice President of Marketing Emily Kramer said in a statement, referring to a document used to issue stock options. “But our ambitions go far beyond supporting privately held, venture-backed companies.”
Indeed, Carta earlier this year launched a set of products for publicly traded firms. It’s placing a particular emphasis on courting fellow startups in the process of filing for an initial public offering. Today’s funding will give Carta more resources to invest in this push going into 2019, when the tech industry is expected to see a wave of high-value IPOs.
Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc. and Cloudflare Inc. are some of the companies expected to hit the stock market next year. Also on this list is existing Carta customer Slack, which will reportedly go public at a valuation exceeding $7 billion.
“There are no great companies today that are tackling capital markets, that are truly taking on Wall Street financial infrastructure,” Carta Chief Executive Henry Ward (pictured) told Business Insider. “We are going to be that company.”
The startup said it will use the capital to add more features to its products for publicly traded firms. Carta also plans to build new offerings to help investors organize data about portfolio companies and manage back-office work.
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