Having registered 10 new patents within its first year, Nourished is a business committed to innovation and set for a fast-growth future – so it’s no surprise the team was quick to move away from slow-moving spreadsheets when it came to tracking company ownership. We were delighted to catch up with Nourished CFO Ben Adams recently and hear all about his Capdesk customer experience so far.
Nourished’s cap table spent its early days languishing in spreadsheet form, as is the case in most startups. “We didn’t have any equity management software before Capdesk,” explained Ben. “Nourished started with an Excel spreadsheet listing the founders and their shareholdings from incorporation. But as we began to raise funds and hire a team, things became complicated.”
As Nourished grew, the fundraising process highlighted Excel’s limitations, particularly when it came to accuracy and efficiency. “When potential investors requested copies of the cap table, we had to create them in Excel. There was always the risk it was wrong and contained mistakes. We started looking around for an alternative and Capdesk was quickly recommended by our legal advisors.”
From share issuances to stakeholder management, Capdesk’s comprehensive feature set convinced Ben that it would meet Nourished’s equity management needs. “We wanted something that made interactions with HMRC smooth and simple. Capdesk is a great fit for our business because it contains every feature we could possibly need and is fully developed for the UK market.”
Ben praised the Capdesk onboarding process as both slick and clean. “The reality of the onboarding experience closely matched our high expectations. We provided information from spreadsheets and various documents from Companies House and the EMI scheme and the onboarding team supported us in transferring it all onto Capdesk.”
Validating his doubts about spreadsheet-based equity management, the onboarding process also helped Ben pick up on some important errors in Nourished’s cap table. “We’d done a share split before adopting Capdesk and it was only when I started loading our data onto the platform that I realised there was a filing missing. We were able to go back and retrospectively file that with Companies House, so onboarding actually acted as a bit of an audit on our cap table.”
For Ben, one of the main benefits of using Capdesk is its reliability. “It gives us a single version of the truth for our cap table. It’s reassuring to know that the platform is there and contains all the knowledge that anyone could possibly ask for.” This has proven especially useful when interacting with both potential and new investors, many of whom require time-consuming answers to complex equity questions.
“Capdesk has helped Nourished to start a relationship with new investors on the front foot. It shows our commitment to a professional, open and honest way of working. We’ve also been able to quickly and easily send copies of our cap table to third parties, none of whom have come back to us for clarification – which proves how easy Capdesk exports are to digest.”
Ben also noted that Capdesk has saved Nourished time on investor enquiries. “Capdesk makes the process of answering questions about company ownership very easy.” At the same time, Capdesk’s scenario modelling functionality has made forecasting ownership structures much quicker. “Round modelling in Excel is possible but it’s time-intensive. Capdesk gives us an instant answer. For us, it’s a particularly useful feature.”
Though Nourished has made extensive use of Capdesk’s functionality, most recently to process secondary share transfers as part of its series A, Ben is excited about the features it’s yet to fully exploit. One such area concerns the startup’s EMI scheme for employees.
“At the moment, we have around 15 employees with options. One of the features we’d like to use going forwards is managing the EMI scheme within Capdesk. This year, I did our EMI Annual Return through the platform and will use it for many more HMRC filings. We can really see ourselves growing to use more and more of the features as time goes on.”
“Capdesk has all of the functionality we need and I can’t think of anything that’s missing. All I can see are features that we’re not yet using, that will be useful going forward and that we’re excited to take advantage of.”