eShares, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of equity management software, has raised $41 million in Series C funding. Social Capital and Menlo Ventures co-led the round, with Arjun Sethi and Matt Murphy taking board seats. Existing backers include Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, K9 Ventures and Industry Ventures.
- Why it's the BFD: Because proceeds will be used to help eShares expand beyond private company stock management. CEO Henry Ward says that the company already has deals with some VC-backed startups to manage their public stock ledgers post-IPO, with hopes someday of possibly launching its own exchange.
- Context: The funding comes the same week as Solium Capital (TSX: SUM) acquired Capshare for its own cloud-based equity management platform.
- Bottom line: eShares is really a byproduct of the IPO delay game, which has created bloated cap tables and liquidity frustrations for early employees. By adding public stock management, it hopes to essentially hedge against a trend-line reversal.