4 min read
Sep 1, 2022 2:00:44 PM
  • US equity unicorn Carta is acquiring European equity management leader Capdesk as part of their shared vision to solve the illiquidity of private markets. 
  • With a joint mission to democratise ownership in private companies, the pair empower businesses worldwide to scale without borders.
  • The deal will see Capdesk customers gain access to Carta products and services while Carta leverages Capdesk’s deep expertise of the UK and European markets to expand its reach.

London, 1 September 2022: Capdesk – Europe’s leading equity management solution – is today announcing it has been acquired by Silicon Valley unicorn and equity giant Carta.

Founded in 2015, London-based Capdesk is trusted by over 3500 of Europe’s fastest-growing companies – including Gousto, VOI, Checkout.com, Plum Guide and Wagestream – to manage their ownership via a single platform. The fintech oversees more than £90 billion worth of assets and has created an end-to-end equity management system that serves customers at every stage – from seed to IPO. 

Silicon Valley-based Carta provides equity management to more than 30000 companies, 5000 funds and half a million employees. It supports users with cap tables, compensation, valuations, portfolio investments, liquidity, and more, and has managed over £1.5 trillion in equity to date. Companies and funds like Canva, Tribe and Pipe build their businesses on Carta. 


Capitalising on regional success

Over time, the acquisition will see Capdesk customers gain access to products and services from Carta, including 409A valuations and compensation benchmarking data. Carta, meanwhile, will leverage Capdesk’s expertise, dominance and unique understanding of equity in European markets, to further expand its services across the globe. Capdesk’s platform uniquely caters to the requirements of HMRC and Companies House in the UK as well as other regulatory authorities throughout Europe.


Towards a global equity solution

The acquisition is founded on Capdesk and Carta’s shared vision of building a truly global ownership platform that enables more ownership, fairer terms and more access to equity in private companies while freeing founders, investors and employees from outdated, manual processes.  

The deal comes at a time of increasing uncertainty across the VC and startup landscape, and against a challenging market backdrop. The expertise, data-led tools and transparent nature of both Capdesk and Carta’s solutions can help companies plan against shifting conditions. The two solutions help startups attract the best talent; empower employees to own and access the wealth they helped create, at a time that suits them; and equip investors with greater control over their portfolios.


Building on momentum 

Despite wider market turbulence, Capdesk has seen the continued growth and success of its product in Europe, doubling revenue in the last 12 months and counting 20 European unicorns as customers. This performance positioned Capdesk as the clear choice for Carta. 

Since being founded in 2015, Capdesk has raised £11.7 million in funding from global investors including Fidelity International Strategic Ventures. While Capdesk was in discussion with financial institutions and European exchanges regarding Series B fundraising, the team entered talks with Carta.

As part of the deal, Capdesk will operate as an independent business unit within Carta for the time being.


Christian Gabriel, Co-Founder & CEO, Capdesk: “We founded Capdesk with a vision of changing finance for good by leveraging the power of equity for the benefit of founders, investors and employees alike. I’m thrilled we’ve identified a shared vision in Carta. This deal will enable us to further strengthen our position across Europe.” 


Henry Ward, Co-Founder & CEO, Carta: “We’ve been following Capdesk’s impressive journey for years. Before Capdesk, employers would have had to manage equity manually with legal counsel in each country. With Capdesk, employers can simply onboard and trust one single provider with managing the detailed requirements of multiple jurisdictions. Capdesk’s founders – Christian, Martin, and Mikkel – have led a cross-border equity revolution. We’re thrilled to be welcoming their vision, expertise and experience to the Carta fold and we’re grateful to have all three founders stay on as key leaders within the company.”


About Capdesk

Capdesk is a rapidly growing equity management platform that enables high-growth companies to keep track of their cap tables as they scale, with greater accuracy and efficiency. Its unique cap table software is complemented by a suite of features that turn equity, options and warrants into a tangible bonus for employees, and a powerful method for employers to incentivise their workforce. It’s on a mission to change finance for good with a vision where equity is a core component of the employee experience in companies, better utilised by employers and better understood by workers.

To do this, Capdesk is building a digital ecosystem that allows for the safe, secure and fair transaction of equity. It envisions employees empowered to access the wealth they helped to create at a time that suits them.


About Carta

Carta is a platform that helps people manage equity, build businesses, and invest in the companies of tomorrow. Our mission is to unlock the power of equity ownership for more people in more places. 

Carta is trusted by more than 30000 companies and over half a million employees in nearly 150 countries to manage cap tables, compensation, and valuations. Carta also supports over 5000 funds representing over $100 billion in assets under administration with their venture capital solutions. Carta’s liquidity solutions have returned $12 billion to shareholders in secondary transactions. Today Carta’s platform manages over two trillion dollars in equity for nearly two million people globally. Companies and funds like Canva, Tribe and Pipe build their businesses on Carta. 

The company has been included on the Forbes World’s Best Cloud Companies, Fast Company's Most Innovative list, and Inc.’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies. For more information, visit carta.com.