Your one-stop shop for learning the latest on equity and ownership for startups

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A woman stands holding a laptop in front of a chart

How to distribute your employee equity the right way

Founders and startups do need to work out how many options they need for their growing team, and make sure that there is enough for all the new hires - it’s kind of like a game of Tetris. Find out how you can easily and quickly work out an equitable share of stock for each role in your company, using benchmarked data from companies like yours.

A relaxed founder sits in a reclined chair on a beach as he uses his laptop to work on equity
Capital Raising, Cap Table, ESOP

Quiet January? Here are 3 (equity) things that will save you headaches later on

Studies show that companies and businesses of many kinds often have a slow start to business during January. And then in February, it’s pretty much go time. So we’ve got till February, you say? Hold up now. This doesn’t mean it’s time to kick back, and it also doesn’t mean you should quadruple your ad spend to try and make up for standard fluctuations.

January 3rd, 2022
Line drawing of a founder in front of employee share option plan

Early Bird Gets the Worm – 5 Reasons to Set Up Your ESOP Now

If you have talented people on your team, now is an important time to make sure they will stick around. While it is true that there may be a lot of applicants for jobs in a recession, it doesn’t mean that it will be easy to replace talent. 

December 29th, 2021
Founders and investors shaking hands above a table
Capital Raising

The SAFE - Is it time for change?

We're proposing a new SAFE inspired by the YC template, but shaped for fundraising in the Australian context with upgrades from what we’ve learnt. We plan to remove these issues and add some improvement to create a new Australian SAFE that will benefit both founders and investors.

November 23rd, 2021
A confused founder looks visibly stressed as investors' hands point to various documents
Cap Table

How many investors should I have on my cap table?

Founders often query how large their cap table should be. How many investors is too many? And what factors will influence this?

May 5th, 2021
Cake founder Jason Atkins smiles for the camera
Angel Investing

Venture Deals – The Making of an Angel (Investor) – Part 2/6

Capital raising is one of the most challenging and vital aspects of successful entrepreneurship. Most founders, especially first-time founders, have only limited financial and legal experience to navigate the process. Therefore, a fair bit of risk exists.

February 8th, 2021
A red haired startup founder in front of a laptop clutches her forehead in despair
Capital Raising

7 Capital Raising Mistakes a Start-up Should Avoid

If you’re an early stage start-up looking to start capital raising, it is an exciting time. You have that rapid growth in sight, and you just need those juicy funds to help you to take the next leap. However, the capital raising process can be a tricky one, especially if you’ve never done it before.

February 5th, 2021
A female founder stands with her arms folded and a confused look with a question mark painted above her head

What’s the difference between an ESS and an ESOP?

When you want to grant equity (or ownership) to an employee or contractor, the best way to do it is often through an employee share scheme (ESS) or an employee share ownership plan (ESOP). But what is the difference between an ESOP and an ESS? And why would you use an ESOP instead of an ESS?

December 9th, 2020
A founder presents to a table of investors
Angel Investing

The Making of an Angel (Investor) – Part 1

Sharing our journey on angel investing might help others to get involved, and have a better outcome. We're fortunate to know great investors and be part of the Airtree Explorer program so hopefully it's worthwhile for you to read it!!

November 18th, 2020
A founder sits on a white floor looking at stacks of contracts and post-its
Cap Table

What’s a Dual Company Structure, and do I need one?

If you are looking to embark on a new business venture, one of the first decisions you will need to make is how to structure your company. This is the first of many strategic decisions you will need to make.

November 2nd, 2020
A female employee in an apron stands in front of a storefront

Employee Share Option Plans – What happens when an employee leaves?

Employee share plans, including employee share option plans (ESOPs) can be one of the best ways to incentivise and reward your team.

October 14th, 2020
A female shareholder stands content with her arms folded in front of a desk
Cap Table

Shareholders Agreements – The important stuff

The Shareholders Agreement is the document that sets out the ongoing relationship between the Company and its Shareholders. Generally, a Shareholders Agreement will sit alongside the company Constitution, and will often prevail where there are any inconsistency.

September 30th, 2020
A founder in a blue shirt stands with a confused look and her arms shrugged
Cap Table

What are the ESIC Incentives, and is your company eligible?

Just when you thought you were on-top of every startup acronym around, another one pops up in casual conversation – “ESIC Incentives“. On hearing this pesky new acronym, you will probably take the usual approach, familiar to many founders – nod and smile. However, if you’re a startup looking to raise money, this is probably one acronym worth learning more about.

August 27th, 2020
A single iceberg is shown raised above and sunk below sea level
Capital Raising

The Capital Raise Checklist – Are you ready for a raise?

How do you prepare for a capital raise? What documents do you need? And how long will a capital raise take?

August 13th, 2020
Two men in a conversation on top of a desk covered in garments
Cap Table, Angel Investing

Are your investors in the loop? How to communicate with shareholders effectively

When you hear the term “investor update”, what comes to mind? Numbers and dollar figures? Financial models and forecasts? Standard comments on the state of the economy? While it’s important for companies to share this information with its shareholders (and just as important that the shareholders read it), it doesn’t mean it will always be a great experience.

August 4th, 2020
A man's hands holding a pen and using a calculator on a wood desk

What is the Start-up Tax Concession, and why bother using it?

If you’re looking to issue shares or options to your employees through an Employee Share Option Plan (ESOP), it is worth considering whether you can do so under the ‘Start-up Tax Concession‘ (Concession).

July 9th, 2020
A man wearing business attire with his back turned towards a wall of nondescript drawings and charts
Capital Raising

How to Raise Money You’ve Already Spent – R&D Finance

If you think about startup finance, you’re probably thinking about selling equity, VCs, angels, convertible notes, friends and family, series A, B, and beyond. A more distant thought could creep in, maybe to access some form of a bank loan or even venture debt once you get the ball rolling. What many founders don’t realise is that the money they’ve already invested in product development can be leveraged to finance their future as well.

July 3rd, 2020
A young female employee scratches her head in confusion over employee share plan jargon

Employee Share Plan Jargon – All the terms, in simple terms

What does Vesting mean, what is a Vesting Period and when will my Options become Shares? Whether you’re a company setting up an employee share scheme (ESS), or an employee reviewing your ESS Offer, you are not alone if the terms confuse you. You’re being offered a right, without any payment, to buy something, to get more rights, right?

May 12th, 2020
Feet stand before paint on a road pointing to simple in one direction and complicated in another
Cap Table, Capital Raising

SAFE Notes – What are they, and when should you use one?

SAFE stands for ‘ Simple Agreement for Future Equity‘. For us, anything that has ‘simple’ as part of its acronym has basically won us over already. At Cake, it’s all about simple and fast. The SAFE Note was first created by Y Combinator in 2013. In short, it is pretty much the same as a Convertible Note, but without the ‘debt’ element.

April 27th, 2020
A hurried employee in business attire rushes past a green wall with a stack of stationary and a tablet
Capital Raising

No time for all that Capital Raise riff-raff? How about a Convertible Note?

In short, a Convertible Note is a way to raise through a mixture of debt (a loan) and equity (giving away shares).

April 23rd, 2020
A little girl and boy both dressed up in business attire pretending to work from home

How Cake does WFH (Working From Home)

Here at Cake, we’ve been adjusting to the new norm of full time work-from-home (WFH) life.

April 15th, 2020
An empty airport runway at sunrise
Cap Table

How to use your Registry to help save your company’s runway

We know that many businesses are hurting, and funding is a tough subject right now. But some businesses can use their equity to help them survive and thrive. In these isolated times, learn how you can run a virtual raise, and how simplifying your raise legals can save you months of negotiating and closing your funding round, and also how your employee share scheme can be a big help.

April 9th, 2020
A female founder with employee at a desk looking happily over documents on an iPad
Cap Table, ESOP

How to subsidise employee pay-cuts, with shares in your company – quick and easy!

The economic conditions have hit some businesses much harder than others – and many companies are hurting.

April 7th, 2020
A male employee in casual clothing sits alone in a dark room at a desk working from home
Capital Raising

It’s a virtual world, and a virtual world needs a virtual raise

Businesses worldwide have been forced to change that meeting from ‘room T36’ to, well, your living room, The ‘virtual’ meeting, remote working, and laptops on the lap, have become the new norm.

March 18th, 2020
A series of male and female employees stand happily in a line ready to receive employee share option plans

What is an Employee Share Option Plan, and why bother?

An Employee Share Option Plan (ESOP) is a method of granting equity in a business to an employee over a period of time. It really is as simple as it sounds – the employee receives options (or rights) to be granted real shares in the business, as long as they comply with the rules of the ESOP (Plan Rules).

March 16th, 2020
Inside a heated oven with the top grill on

Fresh Out of the Oven – ESOP Tax Reviews

You may have seen recent Employee Share Scheme (ESS) chatter in the business press, such as this article in the Australian Financial Review, discussing the upcoming government inquiry into the tax treatment of the schemes. 

March 16th, 2020
Three glass jars with plants growing and varying amounts of coins in them
Capital Raising

Bootstrapping vs Capital Raise – What suits your company best?

So you’ve started a business, and it’s starting to gain some traction. Customers are raving, client lists are building and your product is, well, actually working pretty well! These are all good things, and things that you should be very proud of. However, from here, the next step can be a crucial decision for the future of your business.

March 16th, 2020