Carta Ventures: Looking for Founders

Henry Ward
Feb 7 · 4 min read

Carta is a fun company because the more problems we solve, the more problems we get to solve. Today we have more problems to solve than bandwidth to solve them. But we still want these problems to be solved.

Introducing Carta Ventures. Below are three startup ideas that we think can become important and big companies. We are looking for founding teams to build them. For the teams we decide to work with, we offer the following:

  1. We will lead or co-lead your seed round.
  2. You will get access to our public APIs and infrastructure.
  3. You will get free office space in our office.
  4. You will have access to executives and employees at Carta.
  5. I will help you be a ceo.

Here are the first three startup ideas we want to fund.

Total Compensation

Problem to solve: There are many firms that sell salary data for companies to create their own compensation bands. They all suck. Data is collected via survey so it is stale and skewed to the participants. The data is often sparse and the leveling is not well normalized. And that’s just for salary data, which is the easier problem. Equity compensation is harder and the incumbent firms there are even worse at it. Think of a modern and real-time compensation survey, for cash and equity.

Why now: Carta is ushering in the next era of labor, which will be an Ownership Era where employees receive both cash and equity compensation. There need to be better ways for companies to understand and set their compensation frameworks with both cash and equity. The incumbents are still services firms and should be replaced by software firms. With Carta there can finally be a mechanism to calculate equity compensation across industries and sectors. A modern company solving this problem can finally exist.

Why work with us: Carta customers rely on Carta to distribute equity to their employees. It makes logical sense that our customer base would want a partner to help them benchmark total compensation for their employees. Once you build your product, we can help you sell your tools to existing Carta customers.

Portfolio Analytics

Problem to solve: Today, venture capital is a qualitative exercise. Very little quantitative analysis goes into helping investors source, qualify, decide, and manage investments. Recently a few boutique firms have appeared to try quantitative venture investing. A few progressive existing firms are building internal tools to create quantitative insights. But most firms are way behind the curve on this.

There is an opportunity for a startup to build analytic investment tools for venture as an asset class. Think Bloomberg for venture capital.

Why now: Venture has historically been a boutique business. The old guard believes it will always be boutique and can’t be done at scale. The new guard, myself included, believes venture will have to find ways to scale. The number of entrepreneurs and opportunities is just too great. Investors with better decision making tools will outperform those without, creating an arms race for better investment tools. I think we are at that inflection point.

Why work with us: The hard part of building a Bloomberg for venture is getting data and getting customers. If you build a good product, we can launch your business out of a cannon.

Sell-Side Research Firm

Problem to solve: We expect that CartaX, our private trading venue, will launch in 2020, pending regulatory approval. Private venture backed companies will list on CartaX so their shares can trade. Investors will want to buy and sell those shares. The problem is how do investors learn about the companies on CartaX and which ones to buy and sell?

In the public world there is an entire industry for research with analysts and dedicated research firms. In the private world there is nothing. CartaX needs a robust research industry to help investors make better trading decisions. Think Morningstar for private markets.

Why now: Simple, pending regulatory approval, CartaX will launch this year. There will be a market for sell-side research. The question is who will be first to establish the leading brand. Hopefully you!

Why work with us: We own the private trading venue. There are so many directions this can go. Start with a newsletter, then content, then podcast, then advisory services, then a tv show, then a tv channel (think CNBC for CartaX). If you have an inclination to writing and media, this is an awesome startup to build.

How to apply

To apply, put together a pitch deck including the following:

  1. Your background and why you are uniquely qualified to solve this problem
  2. A Figma, Invision, or AdobeXD product walkthrough of what v1 of your product looks like
  3. A vision for how the world will change if your company wins

Do not include the following:

  1. Financial projections
  2. Market sizing
  3. Anything else venture capital or business school teaches you to do

Just show your team, product, and vision. That is all that matters.

Send the pitch deck to carta-ventures@carta.com. Or email us if you have questions.

The world is changing fast. Send your decks in soon. I can’t wait to read them.

    Henry Ward

    Written by

    CEO at Carta

    Owner’s Manual, Blog by Carta

    Equity education from Carta

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