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Fidelity acquires equity management software business Shoobx

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Jan 11, 2023
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Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Fidelity, one of the country’s largest retirement-plan providers, acquired equity management software maker, Shoobx, the two entities announced Tuesday.

Why it's the BFD: Fidelity’s own equity management business, Stock Plan Services, largely focuses on publicly traded businesses. The Shoobx acquisition signals it sees opportunity in servicing even the youngest of tech businesses, despite the space’s correction.

Background: Founded in 2013, Shoobx’s tech-heavy customer base ranges from early-stage to post-IPO, founder Jason Furtado tells Axios.

  • Toast, for example, was historically a client that grew with Shoobx before becoming a Fidelity customer.
  • The acquisition "provides us a jumpstart to close a gap in that space.… from companies going from idea to exit and beyond,” says Justin Frye, head of stock plan sales and relationship management at the firm.

The bigger picture: Fidelity is not the only large financial services company seeing value in the cap table management space.

  • J.P. Morgan acquired Global Shares early last year; Morgan Stanley bought Solium Capital for about $900 million in 2019.
  • Independent players such as Carta and Pulley, meanwhile, have continued to see their valuations grow.

Looking forward: Fidelity sees a competitive edge for itself and Shoobx in the future, when it may offer and cross-sell its existing 401(k) plans, student debt and charitable giving offerings to private-market customers.

Of note: Shoobx’s 40-some employees will join Stock Plan Services, which has about 1,000 employees.

  • Scout Ventures backed Shoobx.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that Shoobx was not backed by Salient Ventures.

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