Any way you slice it, WE.VESTR is changing the way founders manage their equity. But there’s still a lot to win. Whereas in the UK and US it’s a no-brainer to look into cap table and equity management solutions. In Europe, it’s not that common yet. “A lot of companies still use separate solutions for reporting, performance, cap table management etc. Where Excel sheets or Dropbox folders are more than sufficient, and reporting is still done via attachments in emails.” Floris tells us.
Although, Floris isn’t afraid to compete with the big names in the UK & US. “We consider ourselves a solution from idea phase to exit, which also makes us the platform for pre-investment startups. Carta is a great platform, but is pretty feature heavy. When you’re a startup, you don’t always need such a comprehensive solution.”
Floris goes on to make the analogy that if Carta is to Salesforce, WE.VESTR is to Hubspot/Pipedrive. WE.VESTR’s position is therefore to provide an equity management platform that's hyper-relevant to early-stage companies, and that is hyper-capable to support them all the way from incorporation to their exits.
Final piece of advice
That it’s already a great journey we can’t deny, and with more features coming up there’s no stopping WE.VESTR. For those companies that are at the beginning of scaling their business and looking in to different ways to manage their equity, Floris has three valuable tips:
1. Don’t assume. Validate.
Building a new product, whether it’s a platform or software, takes time. Before you spend all your money and time launching the MVP, validate the solutions and even wire frames with potential customers and investors.
“Even though I had experience with setting up companies, in the process of building WE.VESTR we stepped into the pitfalls of making assumptions too early without validating it properly. It’s important to involve your potential customers and investors in the product development process.” Floris shares.
2. Start thinking about hiring from day one
You know that you’ll eventually need more developers and sales people after all, and especially in the current market it’s important to anticipate early. If you want your company to grow as fast as possible, you will want to build your first full team as soon as you responsibly can.
Floris adds, “See every hire as a sales process, and put your best efforts to attract the best talent. Remember that you’re always competing with the big names.”
3. Clear communication around ESOP’s
Something else Floris is passionate about is ESOPs, and there’s a lot of unclarity around ESOP. The number one tip Floris has for companies looking into ESOP’s is, communicate! “The lack of overview and communication is something that a lot of companies still struggle with. When you’re setting up ESOP’s you’re obviously registering this somewhere, still employees are often left in the dark. That’s a shame! Especially if you’re using ESOPs as a retention strategy, it’s important to give employees a good overview on how their ESOPs are progressing and how much they’re worth.
Many founders are trying to figure out what the best practice is and this may differ country by country. Therefore, WE.VESTR has partnered up with ArchipelTax Advisory and LXA to build a streamlined process for founders looking to set up ESOP’s. Keep an eye on this!
Want to learn more about WE.VESTR’s journey and equity management? Listen to the full story on Spotify.