Startups Venture

Stripe-backed Pulley Ropes In $10M Series A

Pulley, which provides a platform to help startup founders and employees figure out their equity, raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Stripe.

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The San Francisco-based company offers a cap table management product for startups to provide employee and investor equity information, and maintain accurate ownership records, founder Yin Wu told Crunchbase News.

Wu founded Pulley in January and is out to disrupt a market that includes Carta and Shareworks by Morgan Stanley as competitors. She estimates the market is valued at $10 billion, based on the costs to manage cap tables and due to companies staying private for longer periods.

“Traditionally, a company might go public within a few years, but now companies are waiting 10 years, and the valuation is bigger and the equity needs are more complex,” she said. “Another reason is the Silicon Valley culture is going global. It doesn’t matter where you are now, and giving equity is a way to attract employees.”

Wu is no stranger to founding companies. Prior to Pulley, she founded two companies: DIRT, a protocol that allows decentralized curation of trusted data sets, and Double Labs, which created the Android app Echo Notification Lockscreen. The company was acquired by Microsoft in 2015.

It was after the acquisition that Wu fully learned her company’s equity and gave her the idea for Pulley. The platform enables startups to model dilution in future rounds, helps employees understand the value of their equity as the company grows, and makes maintaining equity plans as companies grow much faster and easier.

“We wanted to make this simpler,” she said. “We all do taxes, and TurboTax walks you through it, and we want to do the same, but for modeling and valuation. We also created an offer letter tool, so when you are giving options, your employees understand what they mean in the long term.”

Joining Stripe in the Pulley investment is Caffeinated Capital, General Catalyst and 8VC, as well as a group of angel investors including Elad Gil, Avichal Garg, Parker Conrad, Jack Altman, Kathleen Estreich, Linda Xie, Matt MacInnis and Jeannette zu Fürstenberg.

Jordan Angelos, head of corporate development for Stripe, said in a written statement that the company is “excited to partner with Pulley.”

“Stripe’s mission is to increase the GDP of the internet, and we want to make it as easy as possible to start and scale internet businesses,” he added.

Meanwhile, more than 600 startups have chosen Pulley to manage their cap table, including over 50 percent of Y Combinator companies in 2020, Wu added.

She said she has a 10-year runway for Pulley, and intends to use the new funding to hire quickly–especially remotely–and on product development to meet demand. The new funds also enable the company to make its product publicly available after being in private beta since the beginning of the year.

“We raised the Series A in January, but held off with the announcement because we had more customer demand than we could meet,” Wu said. “Now we are in a position to let in new customers.”

Illustration: iStock

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