Axios Pro: Fintech Deals

September 01, 2022

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Happy Thursday, fintechies. Welcome to September.

Programming note: Starting tomorrow, each Friday's newsletter will be a digest of the week's top news, providing easy access to all the scoops, deals, and analysis we've covered since Monday in one spot.

1 big thing: Carta's summer overseas M&A fun

Illustration of a handshake forming part of the Union Jack.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Cap table management firm Carta has acquired U.K. competitor Capdesk, marking the San Francisco-based company's third acquisition — all made this summer, Lucinda writes.

Why it matters: Venture capital had its start in the U.S. but has grown rapidly abroad. The deal signals that Carta, whose clients are startups, is following that trend and doubling down on international expansion this year.

Of note: Carta, which manages employee stock options and comp-related securities, is largely U.S.-focused.

  • Earlier this summer, it bought India-based ZenEquity and U.K.-based Vauban.
  • "International expansion has been a big focus for Carta this year," Carta CEO Henry Ward wrote in an email. "If all equity internationally is captured on the same platform, then we can connect investors in Singapore to companies in the U.K. and employees in the U.S.,"
  • The financial terms of Carta's acquisitions were not disclosed.

Context: The Capdesk acquisition allows Carta to expand more rapidly throughout Europe, which has become a popular VC destination. Roughly 10 years ago, startups on the continent took 13% of funding. In 2021, that figure was about 18% ($116 billion), per Crunchbase.

Details: Founded in 2015, Capdesk has raised about $13.6 million in funding from investors, including Fidelity International Strategic Ventures. The company had been in talks to raise a Series B when it decided to sell to Carta.

  • Capdesk says it doubled its revenue in the last 12 months, and it counts and Gousto among its clients.
  • Carta currently has about 2,000 employees. The acquisition is adding roughly 70. 

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