Option exercise settings for exercises initiated and settled on Carta

Managing option exercising is now easier than ever. 

International optionholders of US companies can now exercise online via wire transfer to Carta. As a result, all US companies can now settle exercises through Carta, for both ACH and wire transfers payments. Carta conveniently manages payment reconciliation and payment issues such as insufficient funds or overpayments. This new feature is controlled via the new Transaction Settings page. 

Who this affects:

  • 🇺🇸 US companies, public and private

What's new:

  • 💸 All exercises are settled with Carta - company admins will no longer need to mark exercises as paid. No matter where optionholdersers are located, Carta will receive funding for on-platform exercises - US holders pay for their exercise via ACH and non-US holders pay for their exercise via a wire transfer to Carta.
  • ⚙️ Clear transaction settings - company admins control option grant exercisability easily in one central location within Transaction Settings, under Company Settings.
  • Auto-cancel unpaid exercises - A wire exercise is automatically cancelled if unfunded or underfunded for 30 days after admin approval.
  • ✉️Communication with optionholders - Carta communicates directly with optionholders to resolve payment issues, letting them know of an outstanding balance for an exercise or facilitating a refund for overpayment. 

Action required: 

  • Configuring Transaction Settings will enable access to online wire exercises for international optionholders.
  • Visit Company > Settings > Transaction Settings to opt in. Note: Opting "out" does not disrupt the current company or transaction settings. Access to Transaction Settings does not impact users' ability to exercise.

Timing:

  • Rollout begins Oct 14, 2021
  • Rollout to reach 100% of all customers by the end of 2021

Resources: 

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

Partially Canceling Option Grants


What’s new

Legal administrators in Carta can now partially cancel an option grant in Carta. Partially canceling an option grant will reduce the number of outstanding shares and return the shares back to the option pool.

How it works

You'll find the partial cancellation tool by navigating Securities > Equity awards and clicking on the ledger dropdown for the specific option you'd like to partially cancel:

First, you'll be asked to provide an effective date for the partial cancellation. A partial cancellation is an amendment to the option grant, and the effective date will determine when the amendment takes effect in the company's as-of date reporting.

Next, select the cancellation method, which determines how the partial cancellation will affect the vesting schedule for the option grant. Because a partial cancellation reduces the outstanding quantity of the option, Carta needs to know from which tranches the shares should be canceled.

Last in, first out cancellation method

For some situations, the issuer or their legal counsel may not specify the way in which the amendment will affect the vesting schedule. Issuers can select the last in, first out cancellation for the vesting schedule, and Carta will cancel shares starting from the future-most tranche and move up the vesting schedule until the specified quantity has been canceled.

Custom cancellation method

For situations in which the issuer or their legal counsel want to affect the vesting schedule in a specific manner with a partial cancellation, issuers can select the "Custom" share allocation method - this approach provides flexibility and allows the issuer to cancel shares from any tranche. The in-app spreadsheet allows legal administrators to first reflect the partial cancellation in a spreadsheet application outside of Carta and then copy/paste the resulting vesting tranches back into Carta.

After selecting "Review and confirm" at the bottom of the page, verify the cancellation quantity and other information to save the partial cancellation.

Additional Resources

For more information around the limitations and best practices for the partial cancellation tool, please refer to this support article.

Who this affects

The new partial cancellation tool is available to the legal administrators in all of Carta's private market customers.

Timing

Available now.

View Public Company Holdings on Mobile

Users with holdings in public companies will now have the ability to view their holdings for both public and private companies straight from the Carta iOS app. Shareholders can now track market values, view total holdings value and more.

Who this affects

Shareholders with holdings in public companies.

Supported platforms

  • iOS (Android coming soon)

What's new

With an aim to provide functional and streamlined experiences for shareholders, we’ve brought the ability to view public holdings on the Carta iOS app. Public company cards will now be present among private companies on the home screen. The following information will be displayed for each public company card with the ability to view further details when clicked:

  • Total number of shares held
  • Total holdings value
  • Net holdings value

New Shareholder Experience Page

We are making it easier for companies to keep employees, investors, and other stakeholders informed about their holdings and company changes. 

Companies have historically been able to grant viewing permissions to their stakeholders via our Cap Table Sharing page and features. This experience, however, was burdensome for many company administrators who found themselves having to change sharing settings as new stakeholders were added to their cap table or existing stakeholders changed their relationship to the company, such as an employee leaving the company or an investor exiting their position.

With our new Shareholder Experience page, company administrators can designate what type of information they want to share with their different stakeholders and set rules based on these preferences. By setting permissions by rules instead of a stakeholder-by-stakeholder process, we make it easier for company administrators to get the right stakeholders the appropriate information and reflect their information sharing philosophy.

Companies can choose to enable a specific shareholder experience based on the relationship of the stakeholder to the company. For example, companies can choose what information founders, investors, employees, and former employees, and other stakeholders access on Carta. We’ve renamed, updated, and simplified our access levels to Restricted, Basic, Advanced, and Full Details. We include a “Recommended” level for different relationships (e.g. Investors = Advanced) to help guide founders and other company administrators on setting up their Shareholder Experience based on user feedback. 

We’ve also added a new rule where former stakeholders--those who no longer have an active investment or holding in the company--will automatically be downgraded to Restricted automatically. This means that as stakeholders enter and exit the cap table, their respective shareholder experience will update automatically.

New Shareholder Experience page: Group levels

We know that sometimes it’s important for company administrators to create experiences specific to a single stakeholder or user. The new Shareholder Experience feature allows companies to set overrides for specific stakeholders in the “Individual levels” tab. We also provide information on that stakeholder’s relationship and holdings information.

New Shareholder Experience page: Individual levels



To help ensure company administrators set access levels that best fit the needs of their stakeholders, our access level guide is clickable from either the Group Level or Individual Level views of the new Shareholder Experience.

Access level guide

We appreciate our users’ feedback on how to make this page clearer and easier to use. We hope these improvements save company administrators valuable time and help them mirror their company information sharing philosophy in our software.

Who is this available for?

The cap table sharing page is available currently via a limited release to select Carta companies. In the coming weeks, we will begin to allow additional companies to migrate to the new Shareholder Experience feature set. This new product is not limited by subscription tier.

Companies with the new Shareholder Experience features enabled can visit Stakeholders > Shareholder Experience. 

If you’d like to enable the new Shareholder Experience page for your company, you can also contact us.

Instant KYC for Non-Individual LPs Completing Subscription Documents

Non-individual Limited Partners who complete subscription documents on Carta can now be KYC’ed instantly.

What’s New

This release is a follow-up to our KYC for Individual LPs feature. If your fund leverages Carta’s KYC/AML service and you have non-individual Limited Partners (LPs) completing subscription documents in Carta, these LPs can now be instantly KYC’ed on the platform. Carta instantly KYCs the LP's control person and beneficial owner(s) in addition to the LP entity itself.

Carta’s instant KYC feature is made possible by Carta integrations with identity and verification databases like LexisNexis, Ekata, Socure, and more.


Limitations

  • For this release, only US-based LPs are supported for instant KYC. Future releases will extend support to non-US LPs


How it Works

  1. As an LP completes their subscription documents, non-individual LPs (for funds that avail of Carta’s KYC/AML service) will see a dedicated Know Your Customer section. Upon landing here, LPs will first be asked if their control person and beneficial owner(s) are all US persons - 





  2. If the control person and beneficial owner(s) are all US persons, then the LP will be shown forms to enter KYC information for these individual(s) -






  3. Finally, the LP is also able to upload any entity formation documents and photo IDs here:



  4. Once subscription documents are signed by the LP, the following are instantly KYC'ed: the LP entity, control person, and beneficial owner(s). If all pass KYC, this is immediately reflected in the Carta UI and General Partners are notified to countersign -


    Timing: Rolled out to all on Aug 31, 2021

    Audience: US-based Limited Partners, General Partners


Modify and Request Information From Portfolio Companies

What’s new?

Our Portfolio Insights clients can now easily request information from their Portfolio Companies. We’ve created the flexibility to select file types, KPIs, or information about the portfolio companies’ upcoming financings.

How it works

  1. Navigate to Manage RFIs under Settings and select which companies from your portfolio you’d like to make edits to:

    1. Enabled: Will request data from Portfolio Companies
    2. Fiscal Schedule: Control if your request is a standard quarter end, or +1 or +2 month end (e.g. Q2 fiscal schedule of July 30 or August 30)
    3. FND: Ask if Portfolio Company will be raising funds in the next year, if so, by when and how much.
    4. AER: Do you want to send automatic email reminders if the Portfolio Companies did not reply.
    5. Period: Request income statement figures for the last 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months
    6. Requested Files: Request between:

      1. Articles of incorporation and Cap Table (for companies that don’t manage their cap table on Carta)
      2. Financials
      3. Forecast and Board Decks.
    7. Requested KPIs: Select from the list of 40 industry standard KPIs (Users, ARR, Web Traffic, etc). Enable KPIs individually or in industry-specific batches.
  1. Toggle data collection, tailor the documents to be requested, and enable various KPI fields for a more intuitive RFI preparation process

  1. Save preferences and send your next portfolio RFI during your typical request cadence.
  1. Portfolio company upload portals will be customized accordingly, ensuring you’re only requesting exactly what you need from each logo

Suggestions

We recommend limiting KPIs to 3 or 4 to keep portfolio company upload portals from becoming overwhelming. 

Limitations

Custom KPI (i.e. those that don’t exist in our drop down) functionality is scheduled to be available late Q3 2021.

Timing

The configuration page is currently released and enabled for all Portfolio Insights clients.

Questions?

For more information regarding RFI configuration, or portfolio insights, please reach out directly to your portfolio insights account manager or portfolio-kpi@carta.com.

Home Screen Redesign on Mobile

Users with holdings in private companies can now view their holdings details straight from the home screen for easy access.

Who this affects

Shareholders with holdings in private companies.

Supported Platforms

  • iOS & Android

What’s New

With an objective to provide insightful experiences, we’ve redesigned the home screen on the Carta app to display important holding details for each company. Company cards will now present the following information with the ability to view further details when clicked:

  • Total number of options held, number of options vested and exercised 
  • A vesting progress bar comparing the number of vested and exercised options to the total options granted
  • Summary of securities displaying types and quantities for each held

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. 


Carta has released a share activity report to help stakeholders track their public holdings

What’s new?

Public company stakeholders can now download share activity reports that capture their transaction activity and change in shares held during any period.

How it works:

By clicking on the new Statements tab, public company stakeholders enter in the start and end date that they would like to analyze:


The resulting report captures holdings at the beginning and ending of the period, and captures any transactions that cause an increase or decrease in the number of shares the participant holds.

Overall change in ownership is tracked in the Portfolio at the end of period section. Holdings are separated into shares originating from ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan) and non-ESPP sources. The section shows holdings in these categories at the beginning and end of the period.


The Equity transactions in period section captures all transactions to equity (non-ESPP) shares during the period.


The following transactions are captured in this section, including the net effect of the transactions on a stakeholder's holdings

  • Option exercises, including the effect of any shares sold to cover option cost and taxes
  • RSU settlements, including any shares sold or withheld to cover taxes
  • Shares sold
  • Shares transferred in to Carta
  • Shares transferred out from Carta

The ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan) transactions in period section captures all transactions that affect ESPP holdings.

This section captures the transactions below, including the net effect of the transactions on a stakeholder's holdings

  • ESPP purchases
  • Sale of ESPP stock
  • ESPP shares transferred in
  • ESPP Shares transferred out

The report also captures transactions that have been entered into Carta for record-keeping purposes. These transactions do not affect holdings and typically reflect transactions where shares are held or sold at an outside brokerage. 

Transactions in this section include:

  • Option cashless sale or hold transactions facilitated by outside brokers (where shares are sold or held outside of Carta)
  • Option exercises where shares are delivered or held outside of Carta
  • RSU settlements where shares are sold or held by outside brokers

Who can use this?

All public company stakeholders

Timing:

Stakeholders will be able to access this report through their portfolios starting 7/9/2021

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