Capdesk, a London-based platform allowing private companies to digitise their equity management, has raised £3 million in a Series A round led by Fuel Ventures. Founded in 2015, the fintech startup allows companies to manage equity option plans, comply with regulations, and file forms to authorities in one dashboard. Currently there are about 1,000 Capdesk customers throughout Europe, including scale-ups such as Secret Escapes, Curve, Nutmeg, Privitar and Voi. With the new funding, the UK company wants to launch a new secondaries feature. The feature will allow employees and part-owners of private companies to convert shares to cash — thereby creating liquidity in the market. The launch, in partnership with Seedrs and Shieldplay, will “democratise the secondary private equity market for all classes of shareholders”. “If an employee performs well and thus contributes to the growth of the company, then his or her shares exponentially increase in value too and can be sold, making this a win-win scenario for both parties,” said CEO and co-founder Christian Gabriel. In the grand scheme, he believes the startup is pioneering a new compensation model. “We’re talking about a whole different way of envisioning company growth, value creation, and compensation for private companies,” Gabriel said.
The secondaries feature will roll out in beta to current users only. Other plans include expanding the business throughout Europe, with Sweden, France, and the Netherlands already in the pipeline.