Amsterdam-based WE.VESTR, a company that claims to save founders’ time and money through an all-in-one equity management platform, announced on Monday that it has raised €2.2M in a fresh round of funding.
WE.VESTR says it will use the proceeds to develop solutions for more shareholder transparency and to improve financial inclusivity from startup incorporation to exit. WE.VESTR will also use the capital to expand in Europe and enter the Middle East and APAC regions.
The investment comes from Amsterdam-based VC firm Venturerock, an early-stage venture builder empowering founders “who dare to change systems”. Venturerock claims to be a pioneer of a new-age venture operating system, Venturerock OS. The VC says the OS is designed to systematically guide ventures from early-stage startups to fully compliant scale-ups. With an aim to advance technology, science and innovation, the firm co-creates and grows the next-gen of global tech companies that bring economic, social and environmental impact.
Marc Wesselink, Managing Partner at Venturerock, says, “We have seen too many examples of companies failing because of disputes between shareholders. Shareholder management is complex and siloed, and solutions today are not made with founders in mind. WE.VESTR introduces a new standard of how we structure and run modern-day companies, as well as brings much-needed simplicity, trust and transparency to equity management. We are excited to be backing WE.VESTR in further digitising the investment value chain and unlocking the free flow of capital within venture ecosystems.”
A platform to put founders and investors in control
Founded in 2020, WE.VESTR is an initiative launched by Floris van Hoogenhuyze, former CEO of Barqo, and Maarten Graven, ex-founder of Flamyngo, CityShare, and First Check. With a team of 20 employees, the company wants to help founders spend less time on paperwork around capitalisation tables and focus more on their business.
The platform aims to make it easier for founders and investors to manage information on share distributions, legal documents, and KPIs. Additionally, it also enables companies to implement new compensation schemes without involving a notary.
Co-founder Floris van Hoogenhuyze explains that the company is now in a position to take the next step in its vision. He says, “As our company continues to grow, so does our story. What started as a way to simplify shareholder management for startup founders, WE.VESTR is now evolving into a dynamic platform for the entire startup lifecycle – from incorporation to exit. Technology has also rapidly developed to enable us to differentiate in new ways. Whether via blockchain, DLT or otherwise – we intend to leverage new technology to bring more transparency and financial inclusivity to startups than ever before.”
More than 60 European startups and scale-ups are using WE.VESTR. Partners of the platform include investor syndicates, consultancies like RocketVentures, investor platforms like Startup Fountain, incubators like the Finnish Platform6 and the UK-based, AI-driven matchmaker between startups and angels Kaiku.
Shareholder transparency and capital flow in startups
The funding enables WE.VESTR to focus on the introduction of their “Eagle Eye” investor feature as well as additional features for the upcoming WE.VESTR internal exchange. Both of these functions will assist the platform in maintaining financial inclusion and openness throughout the startup lifecycle.
WE.VESTR’s goal is to make it simpler for founders to give investors high-quality reporting and to make portfolio management for investors simpler, as opposed to opening the factory doors to the public.
The company is also focused on enabling startups to provide employees with options beyond simple salaries, enhancing their appeal as employers. With the introduction of their ESOP tool, they have made some headway in this area, but they intend to do more with their primary exchange.
van Hoogenhuyze says, “Enabling the free flow of capital in startups is a part of our vision for digitising the investment value chain. By tokenising all shares on a distributed ledger, we will soon allow shareholders to buy, sell and trade company shares as the business scales. That means new opportunities for all shareholders, including employees, to be in control of their financial futures.”