Ukraine and Estonia-based platform which enables founders to easily create token pools in their cap table, Salto X has raised a seed round of €5.2 million to build a remote-friendly alternative to stock options in Europe.
The round was led by ByFounders and Blockwall and backed by New York-based Box Group, crypto fintech 3Commas, and angel investors such as Liu Jiang (ex-Sequoia GP) and Alex Gluchkowski (founder of ZkSync).
Connecting the Web2 and Web3 worlds, the platform co-founded by unicorn Pipedrive founder Ragnar Sass, is building a mechanism that gives transparent access to equity compensation to contributors regardless of geography. According to the company, the process is streamlined via blockchain technology. Contributors receive NFT certificates for the cliff period, and the smart contract automatically and continuously executes token transfers upon vesting. Tokens can be cashed out in case of full or partial exit or sold to other parties after vesting. This creates much-needed liquidity without the company needing to exit with an IPO or a sale.
CEO Ragnar Sass said: “The existing model discriminates against remote employees, which is not acceptable in the remote-first world. They either get a worse deal than that offered in the company’s HQ or don’t get granted equity at all – we’re here to fix that. We offer remote contributors better transparency by showing the value of their stake in the company, and we increase liquidity by making it possible to sell back their tokens to the company, and soon to other contributors.”
Sara Rywe, partner at byFounders said: “Talent today demands a sense of ownership and companies want to incentivize top talent to stay, which is why we’ve seen a rise of widely used employee option programs. However, with companies going global and setting up remote work practices, it’s proven too complex and costly for many to implement a regular ESOP.”