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dc.contributor.authorGhailan, Badr
dc.contributor.authorFarinha, João
dc.contributor.authorChandrashekar, Vimarsh
dc.date.accessioned2021-04-27T19:02:07Z
dc.date.available2021-04-27T19:02:07Z
dc.date.issued2018
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12127/6900
dc.description.abstractThe environment that start-ups have to face in their early development stages is extremely though and often drives these young companies to failure. In the early stages of a company many struggles surface: the difficulty of getting financed, the lack of knowledge from [often first-time] entrepreneurs in areas such as finance or law, problems stemming from weak company-investor communication, the issues with navigating the legal framework and probably the most important, the challenges related with operations. Dealing with all of the previous drains a considerable amount of time and resources from these ventures. The purpose of this project is to develop a platform to be used by both Venture Capital Firms and Start-ups (as well as some designated stakeholders) in order to improve the information flow between the different parties. In the first part of this work we focus on verifying the existence of a problem and defining it concretely. To do so we defined a methodology on how to approach the research. We have come to the conclusion that interviewing different Start-ups and Venture Capital Firms was the best way to go in-depth into the issues faced by them. While the interviews usually end up having a considerable lower sample of answers than alternative methods (since they require more time and effort from the respondents) the importance of in-depth answers far out-weighted the alternative of higher amount of brief answers. Still in the methodology chapter we have defined how to approach the research for similar platforms available on the market. We believe this is a crucial part of the work as in order to start developing the platform we need to know what the main features offered are, the type of customers targeted and the pricing of such platforms. In the next part of the report we go over the outcomes obtained employing the methodology, covering the competitors found and the answers obtained in the interviewing process. For competitors we have found six companies offering comparable services in the United States (namely: TruEquity, Carta, CapShare, Slicing Pie, CapTable.io and Certent) and two in Europe (ReporTally and Ledgy). As for the interviews' outcome we were able to make the following conclusions: both Venture Capital Firms and start-ups use exclusively Excel to manage their cap tables due to its user-friendliness and the fact that is globally accepted; interaction between investors and companies is done either through emails or phone calls; none of the eleven interviewees (six representing start-ups and the other five Venture Capital Firms) were aware of the existence of capitalization management platforms; both Venture Capital Firms and start-ups are more favorable towards having legal advice from their lawyers directly than through a platform. The question of whether or not the interviewees would be interested in changing to a platform that would centralize the data shared between investors and companies was quite more controversial and we got four participants interested in doing so (two companies and two investors) while the remaining ones didn't express interest. In the final part of the report we draft a minimum viable product along with some recommendations for Laga. In the minimum viable product chapter, we tackle the crucial features needed for such a platform to be appellative to the market (capitalization table management and scenario modelling) based on the answers received in the interviews and the market research. Although not defined with certainty, based on the meetings had with the developers, the features are to be integrated in an existing platform (Element) rather than developed as part of a brand-new tool. In the recommendations that follow, we give some major points for Laga to consider moving forward (reasons for and against launching the product, what to include in the final product - beyond the minimum viable product), along with some limitations that come from this report together with its research. Following this, we also draw some conclusions, not only applicable for Laga and the platform but also some retrospective in the entire research.
dc.language.isoen
dc.titleOptimization of equity management for start-ups and venture capital firms through the development of a capitalization table management platform
dc.source.numberofpages188
vlerick.knowledgedomainEntrepreneurship
vlerick.supervisorCollewaert, Veroniek
dc.identifier.vperid76153
vlerick.companynameLaga
vlerick.companysupervisorMichiels, Christoph
vlerick.programmeMFM
vlerick.typebusresprojectIn-Company Project


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