Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS)

What’s new

Companies using Carta for 409A will now be additionally assessed for qualified small business eligibility at no extra cost to the company.

Certificates issued by a qualified small business as determined by Carta will have a "QSBS" tag in the product to indicate that the shares represent Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS). The goal of these tags is help stakeholders make more informed selling decisions.

The IRC’s definition of a qualified small business is restrictive yet vague and open for interpretation at the edges, so potential holders of QSBS should consult their tax advisor before making decisions to sell and claiming the QSBS tax benefit.

How it works

Based on company-provided information during the valuations process, Carta will assess the following criteria for qualified small business eligibility:

  • Company's gross assets are $50M USD or less
  • Company is an active business
  • Company is a C-corp
  • Company does not operate in excluded industries

If a company is identified as a qualified small business, a new badge will appear in the 409A dashboard:

If a stakeholder receives a certificate from a qualified small business but hasn't yet met the 5 year holding period for QSBS, they'll see a "QSBS eligible" tag in their portfolio:

Drilling into the security, the stakeholder will see some additional information about the QSBS status of the certificate:

Stakeholders who have held shares issued by a qualified small business for 5 years will see a "QSBS" tag in their portfolio instead:

Additional Resources

For detailed information about QSBS in Carta, please refer to our QSBS support article.

Who this affects

Companies using Carta for 409A and their stakeholders.

Timing

  • Available now to 50 randomly selected 409A customers
  • General availability for all 409A customers coming in two weeks

[Early Access] Live Chat Support

Carta now offers Live Chat Support to Early Access Users. 

Who does this affect?

Law firm users and companies in Carta Launch 

What’s new?

Users can now opt to chat live with a Support Agent, in addition to the traditional Phone and Email Support. 

They can simply access the Help Center by clicking on the dialog balloon at the bottom right of the screen, where the Live Agent option will be available. 


After accepting the terms and conditions, the user will be connected to a specialized Support Agent. 

This rollout builds upon Carta's investment in a modernized approach to how our customers receive assistance in-app, enabling easy access to multiple engagement types to fit the context of the question, including: 

  • Chat
  • Voice and video
  • Co-browse
  • Screen-sharing 

All within the Help Center in-app! 

New Carta Launch onboarding for early stage founders


What’s new?

Early stage founders can get self-onboard onto Carta Launch faster than ever before. Founders with up to $1M raised or 25 stakeholders or fewer can now create an account and onboard company data with ease, speed, and confidence for free.  

Carta Launch is live on Product Hunt! We'd so appreciate your upvote!

How it works

Sign up and create your account

  1. On carta.com/launch, click “Get Free Access” 
  2. Fill out a simple form with your company information to create your account.



Guided onboarding

  1. We designed the new onboarding experience to be friendly and guide you through each step



  1. With just Incorporation Documents and Common Stock Purchase Agreements, you can enter information about your Company, Founder Shares, and Users & Roles to complete your onboarding.
  2. Once you’ve reviewed and activated your account, you’re all set to get started on Carta.

  1. Your free Carta Launch plan is suited to fit your immediate fundraising and equity needs and set your company up for success as it scales.


Additional resources 

  • For step by step instructions for how to get started find our video guide here
  • For more information about what is included in Launch, check out this video or check out our most recent blog post. 
  • For any additional questions, please reach out to partners@carta.com or get help through our in-app support. 





Carta Total Comp Updates: Scorecard Export, Next Twelve Months Vesting and More

Check out the exciting new updates we’ve made to Bands, Scorecard and Admin pages 

Next Twelve Months (NTM) Equity Ratio

Equity Ratio is now being calculated using Next Twelve Months (NTM) equity rather than Total Equity granted to the employee. The new formula for Equity Ratio is as follows: 

An employee’s next twelve months (NTM) equity divided by the target annual equity for a new hire today.

Why did we make this change? 

The Carta Total Comp Scorecard is designed to provide a clear view of the compensation health of your business. In order to build a score that better highlights attrition risk, we’ve changed the calculation for equity ratio to be based on unvested equity that will vest in the next twelve months. 

Employees compensated below market rate are at risk of attrition, as they would be paid more in a new role than if they were to stay in their current position. 

Vested equity does not incentivize employees, because it is already earned, and therefore does not help drive retention; put another way, vested equity is already “in the bank.” Calculating a health score that includes vested equity could lead to overlooking employees who are mostly vested and therefore at risk of going to work elsewhere. 

The additional benefit of NTM is that it allows you to compare equity compensation on the same annualized timeframe as salary. 

Additional Details

While Equity Ratio will be calculated by using NTM going forward, we will continue to show Total Equity on the company and employee Scorecard. 

Scorecard Export

You can now easily download a CSV of the entire scorecard by clicking on the “Export” button. The CSV will contain all of the available columns, regardless of whether they are enabled in the column selector.    

Admin Page

Review and modify employee details from the new Admin Settings page. This page has a complete view of all employees synced from the HRIS and cap table. 

What’s changing?

Navigate to the Admins page from the Carta Total Comp top navigation bar. From there you can access the “Roles and permissions” tab along with the “Employees” tab

New Bands Version

You can now see the date of the most recent Benchmark version in the Plan and Bands page. With the Preview plan feature, you can review the impact that updated benchmarking data has on the Scorecard prior to applying the new Plan. 

Why did we make this change? 

When benchmarking data is current, it better enables you to be competitive in today's market with the offers you take to candidates and employees. 

Job Area Descriptions and Example Job Titles

Our Roles and Levels are now defined in-app. 

Why is this important?

Carta's leveling framework provides a foundation for your company to provide career pathing for employees and to review pay fairness for each job area and level. Without consistent leveling, companies can not accurately compare their employees to market rate data, limiting their ability to effectively hire and retain talent. 

To help our customers ensure accurate and consistent leveling, we are now providing further descriptions for each job area we support, so users can make more informed leveling decisions based on commonly used job titles.

What’s changing?

We have added a “Learn more” link in the "Example title" column in the "Bands" tab. This link will launch a modal where you can see sample job titles and descriptions for roles in each job area. 


Preview and and manage compensation plans

With the new Plans page, you can now craft and manage your compensation plan to meet the needs of a changing workforce. With Plans you can:

  1. Review your active plan or create a new plan.
  2. Edit and preview draft plans.
  3. View your plan history.

Before making modifications to your plan, preview will allow you to see how a change in peer group, band ranges, or location strategy could impact your employees' compensation targets. 


Availability

  • If you are interested in learning more about Carta Total Comp, please reach out to your Carta Customer Success Manager or sign up here.
  • You must be a Carta cap table customer to sign up for Carta Total Comp.

Building your compensation plan is easy with Carta Total Comp

Streamline your compensation processes and compensate with confidence on Carta Total Comp. 

Whats new?

Easily build, manage and apply your compensation strategy across your entire employee base taking both geography and custom compensation bands into account. 

To adjust your Plan settings, click on the Details link on the top left of the Scorecard page.


Geo Adjustment

You can now choose either Local or Uniform to choose the right approach for your fully remote, hybrid or in-office working arrangement.

  • Local: When selected, all employees will have their target compensation automatically adjusted to the local cost of labor for their location. You can also set a minimum threshold to ensure that employees' target compensation are not set lower relative to the top metro market rate for their roles. We recommend setting the threshold to 80%.
  • Uniform: Using this option, all employees' target compensation will be adjusted to the market rate for a single location.

Compensation Bands

The compensation bands settings enables you to customize the width of your company's target bands for each track. Defaults are 15% for Individual Contributors (IC), 20% for Managers, and 25% for Executives.


Availability

  • If you are interested in learning more about Carta Total Comp, please reach out to your Carta Customer Success Manager or sign up here.
  • You must be a Carta cap table customer to sign up for Carta Total Comp.

Make better compensation decisions faster

Carta Total Comp 

Carta cap table customers can now access our benchmarking and planning platform to streamline their compensation processes and compensate with confidence.

What’s new?

Workflow tools built on top of the world’s largest equity data set and powerful HR integrations to help you make better compensation decisions faster. Carta Total Comp customers are now able to access the following compensation benchmarking and planning features:

  • Automated Leveling - Map each of your employees into an area, track and level using Carta’s universal leveling framework.
  • Scorecard - Summarizes employee salary and equity information from your HRIS and cap table to give a holistic overview of your organization’s total compensation.
  • Bands - Automatically generate equity and salary bands for any role by filtering for job area, track and location.  
  • HRIS Integration -  Integrate instantly with any of the most common HRIS systems.
  • Coming Soon - Plan -  Easily build, manage and apply your compensation strategy across your employee base.

Get a pulse on your org through your company Scorecard tab



Benchmark any role in the Bands tab

Availability

  • If you are interested in learning more about Carta Total Comp, please reach out to your Carta Customer Success Manager or sign up here.
  • You must be a Carta cap table customer to sign up for Carta Total Comp.

Additional Resources 

  • Carta Total Comp announcement from our Chief Product Officer, Heidi Johnson. Link to Blog Post.

Material event making your 409a stale?

What’s coming: Let your employees know your 409a is out of date and their taxes may be impacted if exercising.

Who this affects: 

  • Users: Equity administrators and option holders
  • Packages: Starter, Growth, Scale, and IPO-Ready will receive this functionality.  Any customer with 409a in their subscription.

What’s better: 

Proactive, in-app communication: When enabling this functionality, all option holders, upon exercising, are shown a disclaimer that the FMV is stale and this could impact their taxes. See the full disclaimer below in “Option Holder view”.

Equity Administrator view:

Option Holder view:

Timing: Rolling out to all 409a customers on September 30th.

Announcing (new and improved) Release Notes

Over the last few months, we’ve been listening to your feedback on our changelog and identified usability and customization as two areas for improvement. Today, we are announcing our new and improved Release Notes in order to provide you with up-to-date information and news on Carta product changes. 


Key features of our Release Notes include:

Filter by label

You can now filter out notes to only include the ones you care about most. You will be able to filter by Carta product area (Corporations, Investor Services, Platform, and CartaX), customer type (Employee, Equity Administrator, Board Member, etc. ), or release stage (General Audience, Preview, etc.)

You can filter by label on the right hand side of the screen by selecting the label you’d like to see notes on.




Subscribe for recurring product updates

Curious to know about all the great things we’re releasing on a regular basis? Subscribe to our Release Notes. You will get an email to your inbox whenever we post a new update. You can find the subscribe button at the top of the Release Notes page.



PWERM Valuations, In-app

We’ve released a new feature that helps our staff value late stage private companies. The feature allows staff to conduct a “PWERM” valuation in-app, eliminating the need for them to rely on excel spreadsheets and saving them time on your 409A or ASC 820 valuation.

Screen Shot 2020-08-05 at 1.15.32 PM.png

PWERM stands for Probability Weighted Expected Return Method. This methodology is often relied upon in the valuation community when there is a possibility of several future outcomes for the Company being valued. For example, Airbnb has said its resuming plans to IPO. However, real world events could come up, such as a global pandemic, that could stall these plans. Due to this uncertainty, a PWERM valuation methodology could better simulate real world outcomes where companies could either continue business as usual or could reach an exit event.