For the first time in the private company equity management space, industry leaders from across the entrepreneurial ecosystem are coming together to create an industry group called the Open Cap Table Coalition to improve the interoperability, transparency, and portability of startup cap table data. Today, we, the founding members of that coalition, want to start this journey by extending an invitation to all other interested startup ecosystem stakeholders to join our working group.
We are guided by three company-focused principles in this journey:
- Responsibility: The company is ultimately responsible for maintaining and updating its capitalization information as a corporate record. Equity holders also have an interest in the company’s capitalization information, which may include the right to use information pertaining to their specific holdings with other services and technologies for their own purposes. The extent of their access to such information is governed by company by-laws, investment, or other pertinent contractual agreements, as well as applicable laws and regulations.
- Company Choice: The company has the right to use or transfer its capitalization information on or to whichever services and technologies it chooses to work with its capitalization information.
- Collective Action: Service providers and technology platforms supporting companies and their equity holders should proactively work together to facilitate the portability of capitalization data in order to enable those companies and their equity holders to accurately, effectively, and efficiently exercise these rights.
As a foundational step, we have worked together to produce a first iteration of the Open Cap Table Format, an open source format to enable a new, more collaborative era in capitalization data management that aims to prioritize companies’ changing needs and help the ecosystem become more efficient. Our goal will be to drive interoperability and more easily capture some of the complexities of startup capitalization management, with further input from all of us.
While we’re proud to have already brought together an incredible list of industry experts and leaders, we are even more excited to watch our coalition evolve and to bring in more voices to help us build standards and practices that best serve the entire ecosystem. Email email@example.com if you are interested in joining the effort and becoming a member of the working group.
The Founding Members
Tiho Bajic, CEO at LTSE Software
Joe Green, Counsel and Director of Client Experience and John Scrudato, Legal Engineering and Data Strategy Manager at Gunderson Dettmer
Chris Martin, Supervisor of Emerging Technology Solutions at Latham & Watkins
Reed McBride, Head of Business Development at Carta
Kathryn Montalvo, Technology Companies Group (TCG) Operations Manager and Analyst at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Brad Newman, Senior Practice Innovation Manager at Cooley LLP
Morgan Sawchuk, Corporate Partner, Fenwick & West
Anne M. Stemlar, Managing Director, Knowledge Management at Goodwin Procter LLP
Kevin Swan, Co-Head, Global Private Markets at Morgan Stanley | Shareworks
David Wang, Chief Innovation Officer at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati