A better offer letter

Henry Ward
Owner’s Manual, Blog by Carta
2 min readMar 12, 2016


At Carta we spend a lot of time thinking about how to better educate employees on startup equity. Even new hires at Carta often don’t understand the equity compensation component of their offer letter. So we decided to create a new offer letter. I have included highlights of our offer letter with captions below.

We are making available a full example of our offer letter, that you can find here. I have also included some highlights below with captions. I hope this will encourage transparency in more companies and help candidates who are currently interviewing at startups.

Cover Letter
Welcome Letter
Summary of offer
Simplified graph of our capital structure and breakpoints.
Formula for calculating option payouts for exit values greater than $77M
Tranche-by-tranche table of employee’s vesting schedule.
Brief advice on how we encourage employees to think about their equity.
Overview of Benefits
Home office address and weekly commute schedule. (only for Bay Area employees)
Introduction to first week’s schedule and 1-on-1s.
Required legal language regarding option details and pending board approval.
Signature page.



Recommended from Medium


See more recommendations