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Employee equity management platform Ledgy raises $22m Series B

Ledgy has won the backing of US investors New Enterprise Associates as well as Sequoia

By Amy O'Brien

Yoko Spirig, Ledgy's founder and CEO

Swiss equity management platform Ledgy has just raised a $22m Series B funding round led by US VC firm New Enterprise Associates — as more European startups look for smarter ways to manage their investors and equity plans. The company says it will use the cash to scale further across Europe. 

What does Ledgy do?

Ledgy provides a platform for all shareholders in a company to keep track of ownership. That means founders and investors can log into Ledgy to keep tabs on their cap table (basically a list of who owns how many shares of a company and how much that’s worth), and employees can use it to keep up to date on the value of their stake in the company. 

Historically, these insights have been reserved for finance teams, who’d log ownership data in clunky Excel spreadsheets. And while Ledgy’s software still makes chief financial officers’ lives easier — it allows them to automate various tasks like onboarding documents and quarterly reporting — it’s also designed to be used by everyone across the business. 

Who’s investing in Ledgy’s Series B? 

  • New (US) investor New Enterprise Associates led the round
  • Existing (US) investor Sequoia
  • Speedinvest
  • Btov
  • Visionaries Club
  • VI Partners

What’s next for Ledgy? 

Ledgy currently has 2,500 client companies spread across 45 countries, and it plans to expand deeper into Europe after the funding round. The company currently has offices in Zürich and London, and is opening a Berlin office imminently. It’s actively hiring across all functions, with a particular focus on training up junior software engineers. 

Asked about the new US representation on Ledgy’s cap table, founder and CEO Yoko Spirig tells Sifted that opening up a US office is a “likely step in the future”. But for the time being, Spirig says these international investors were attracted to the fact that as a startup out of Switzerland focusing on shareholdings, Ledgy has already had to navigate a web of 30 different regulatory frameworks across Europe.

What’s the market like?

As Europe’s startup ecosystem has grown in the past few years, a number of B2B employee equity management platforms have cropped up — including Portagon and Semper. Ledgy’s biggest competitor has been London’s Capdesk, which was acquired by its US counterpart Carta last month. 

But Spirig says Ledgy’s edge is its ability to work across different geographies from the get go, moving with the startups it serves, like wefox, Bitpanda and Scalapay, as they grow. 

“You can be the best CFO in London,” she says, explaining the complexities around internationalisation. “But when you bring your first employees in Germany on board, your new hires will expect virtual shares, which are likely to be quite alien to someone in a UK tech company.

“It takes a lot of research and effort to get on top of this. In fact, fear of this complexity — and getting stuff wrong — can actually stop companies from taking this leap and expanding in the first place.”

Pressure to retain and attract talent a boon for equity management

The most in-demand features among Ledgy’s startup customers are those that remove the risk of leaking sensitive information about company ownership. For example, its custom access controls mean an operations manager can get work done sending documentation about equity without suddenly having access to every detail of their team’s equity stakes or vesting schedules.

As the fundraising environment remains cold in Europe, many startups are cutting costs to stretch out their runway. But Spirig says she’s not seen startups cut down on equity packages. 

The one thing that hasn’t changed as valuations and multiples have dipped in recent months is the pressure to attract and retain great people,” she tells Sifted.

“There’s still massive demand for talent across all functions, and leaders need to motivate and engage people to keep pushing and align around the company mission. Equity is a really central plank of this effort, as it’s the long-term component of people’s compensation.” 

Amy O’Brien is a reporter at Sifted. She tweets from @Amy_EOBrien and writes our fintech newsletter — you can sign up here

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