Cake content hub

Easy to understand content about equity, easy-to-use guides, helpful tips, and practical resources.

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exercising stock options

Exercising stock options: a comprehensive guide for startups

Cake up and exercise your stock options like a pro. We'll walk you through tasty steps to ensure you get the most out of your equity grants!

January 9th, 2023
startup equity split

Startup equity split: How to distribute equity the right way

Startup equity distribution is just like a ceremonial cutting of the cake. You want to split the cake in a way that makes sense (and profitable!) for yourself and every one in your team. This guide tackles the essential things you need to know about startup equity.

December 23rd, 2022

ISO vs NSO: Understanding the key differences and which one to grant your team

Non-Qualified Stock Options (NSOs) and Incentive Stock Options (ISOs) are the two types of employee stock options available in the US. This article tackles the key differences between the two and which one to choose when granting startup equity.

December 21st, 2022
10 ways to prepare your startup for 2023
Company, ESOP

Ready, set, grow: 10 ways to set your startup up for success in 2023

Nearly 5.4 million startup applications were filed in 2021, and the trend continues upward. This only means many startups are hoping to ramp up growth this 2023, whilst also anticipating tougher competition and capital raising challenges. Here are some simple but essential tasks to think about as we head into the new year!

December 19th, 2022
Cap table modeling for startups
Cap Table

Cap table modeling and why it's crucial for startup founders

Modeling your capitalization table can come in handy when it comes to negotiating with investors, raising funds, and predicting future scenarios and the impact of liquidity events. In this guide (and on-demand webinar), experts Nan Meka, Jason Atkins, and David Kenney talk about the basics of cap table modeling and why it's important for startup founders.

December 15th, 2022
what is advisory shares

Advisory shares: the essential things startup founders need to know

Advisory shares are a type of equity given to company advisors in lieu of (or on top of) a cash. In this article we talk about what founders need to know about giving equity to advisors and why it's important to their startup journey.

December 13th, 2022
startup stock options

Startup stock options: the essential guide for early stage startups

Startup stock is like a slice of cake: you want to be the first one to get a piece while it's fresh from the oven, and before everybody else gets their own share! This guide tells you everything you need to know about stock options from the perspective of early stage startups.

December 9th, 2022
what is equity grant

Understanding equity grants and their importance to startups

Equity grants are a way for companies to give a percentage of ownership to their valuable employees. Learn about equity grants, why they're important in today's startup economy, and what it means for startup employers and employees.

December 7th, 2022
best cap table software
Cap Table

12 Best cap table management software for startups

Whether you're building your first cap table or you're unhappy with your current cap table software, you're in the right place. If you're in the market looking for the best cap table management software, we curated a list to help your search.

December 5th, 2022
benefits of EMI schemes

Benefits of the UK’s EMI share options scheme

Enterprise Management Incentives or EMI schemes is a share option scheme issued by over 12,000 UK companies. These equity schemes are most common among startups and small to mid-sized businesses -- let us tell you why.

November 21st, 2022
Cap Tables: A Quick Guide for Startups
Cap Table

How to create a cap table, a quick guide

What is a cap table, how to create a pre-investment cap table, and how to manage a constantly growing cap table. A quick guide for startups.

November 9th, 2022
Your guide to share option plans for the UK

The UK startup's guide to EMI schemes

If you’re a startup founder, you’ve probably heard the terms Share Option Scheme more times than you’ve had to pivot your business model. If it’s left you scratching your head, Cake Equity is here to help you understand how Employee Option Schemes work, in collaboration with our expert legal partners, Sprintlaw UK.

November 7th, 2022
pros and cons of employee share option plans

ESOP pros and cons for employees and startups

Consider ESOP pros and cons before you decide if an ESOP is right for you company and its employees, contractors, and other stakeholders.

October 21st, 2022
Restrictions on EMI Share Options

Restrictions on EMI share options and why they matter

A practical overview of how your company can consider what restrictions you need to include when preparing your EMI Option Agreement and why it matters.

October 17th, 2022
Employee stock options cake

10 Best equity management software for startups

Finding the best equity management tools for startups doesn't have to be so hard. See how the top 9 compare with our comprehensive guide.

October 13th, 2022
UK EMI option scheme

How to setup and register your EMI options scheme in the UK

Creating an EMI option scheme can be a tricky and time-consuming process for company founders. That’s why we’ve created this simple 6-step guide that should clarify the process and help you get your EMI scheme registered with HMRC as smoothly and swiftly as possible.

October 6th, 2022
New Laws Reduce Red Tape for Operation of Employee Share Schemes
Industry News

New laws reduce red tape for operation of employee share schemes

Equity can be a powerful tool in attracting, remunerating, incentivising and retaining top talent – this is especially the case for startups. In Australia, one of the ways to do this is by establishing an employee share scheme (ESS) which allows companies to offer key employees or service providers equity in the Company.

September 29th, 2022
hiring remote international employees

Top tips for hiring international employees in the age of remote work

To have an effective global talent acquisition process, you'll need to stand out from your competition. Here are our tips to help you catch the eyes of top global talent.

June 28th, 2022
Capital raising for founders
Capital Raising

How to raise capital for your startup

Everything you need to know to raise capital for your startup for the first time — from projections to documentation, helpful software, best sources, & beyond.

June 28th, 2022
founder searches the web to hire international employees

Why you should be hiring international employees in 2022

It's crucial for today's businesses to adopt diversity, creativity, and innovation as a strategic medium of growth and expansion. Combine rampant globalisation with a competitive market for talent acquisition, sprinkle in the uptake of remote work and you've got the recipe for why we're seeing the shift to hiring internationally.

June 22nd, 2022
Founder juggling tasks during economic downturn
Capital Raising, ESOP

3 things startups can do now to manage economic downturn

Managing your startup in an economic downturn is like riding a roller coaster. There are ups and downs, surprises, celebrations, and disappointments. Here are some things you can do now to ride the wave of an economic downturn and keep your startup afloat.

June 10th, 2022
employee stock option plans for founders at a computer

How many Options should you allocate to your team members?

Sharing options can be a great motivator for employees, but how much of your ESOP cake should you share? No two companies are the same, so it is important to specifically consider a variety of factors, including your own staff, and your plans for the next few years...

June 7th, 2022
Customer success stories Crowded Technologies
ESOP, Cap Table, Capital Raising

Crowded Technologies Take the Cake

Cake customer Crowded has had significant traction since launch in the US in 2021. With Cake’s cap table and ESOP tools, founder Daniel can access to the relevant stakeholders like accountants, lawyers, investors and employees, without being hassled endlessly for information, and issue options to over 16 employees, seamlessly.

May 30th, 2022
If founders are able to be honest with themselves and honest with us, it enables them to level up.

The Holy Grail: How to Secure Venture Capital Funding

Securing venture capital is considered the holy grail of funding for early stage and scaling startups. But what is venture capital? And who are the mysterious ‘venture capitalists’ guarding this precious fountain of abundance? And how can you get their attention?

May 20th, 2022
How do you get an angel investor to fall  from the sky for you?
Angel Investing, Capital Raising

Direct from Heaven: Everything you need to know about Angel Investment

Getting anyone to part with their money for a pre-seed or seed stage company is no easy feat. But angel investors bring their their knowledge, networks and cash, which can be invaluable when it comes to growing your business quickly. So how can you find them?

May 12th, 2022

What's the difference between ESOP and ESOW in Singapore?

An Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) is a special type of ESOW that gives employees or advisors the right to purchase shares in the company at a predefined price within a specific time period. Generally, ESOPs are the most popular method of granting employee ownership for startup companies. So let's get into why.

May 5th, 2022
Superuser Spotlight - Jamie Davison, CFO
ESOP, Cap Table, Capital Raising

Cake Superuser Spotlight - Jamie Davison, CFO

Cake Superuser Jamie Davison works as CFO for multiple companies and uses Cake’s products for everything from capital raising, onboarding new investors and ESOP set up and administration. That's having your cake and eating it too!

May 3rd, 2022

What’s the difference between issuing stocks directly to an employee 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?

April 29th, 2022
what are investors looking for

7 Things Investors Look For in a Startup

Before you get to the negotiating table, your job is to build an airtight case for your startup to get the investors to buy into your vision. Learn more about the items an investor looks for when making an investment decision to help you put your best foot forward.

April 28th, 2022
How much could your options be worth?

Understanding the value of your Options

Receiving a slice of the cake, means sharing in ownership of the company. What could be more exciting and motivating than knowing your hard work could exponentially increase your own personal wealth? It’s pretty delicious.

April 27th, 2022
Why does an employee have to pay to Exercise their Options?

Exercising Options: what you should know

In order to turn your options into stocks, you'll eventually need to 'exercise your options'. No, this doesn't mean they need to hit the gym. We've summarised the answers to the questions we hear most often for you here!

April 20th, 2022
Founder sits in front of a computer with text that says what is a cap table?
Cap Table

The Cap Table: What, why and how

A cap table is a living breathing document that changes every time you give equity to employees or contractors via an ESOP, sell shares in your company or distribute equity in any way - so it’s incredibly important to make sure it’s up to date at all times. If your cap table is in order, business decisions are made easier for you.

April 8th, 2022
investors standing in front of clouds
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? We break down the complex topic of growing cap tables - read on to discover strategies to keep your cap table tidy and agile, or to clean it up if it’s already spun out of control.

April 5th, 2022
Potential ownership of a slice of the company helps remote employees think like business owners

6 things you can do to keep your remote employees engaged and happy

Work from home can have its perks, but some companies are still struggling to stem the tide of employee burnout that’s directly tied to remote working conditions. Here are our top tips for keeping remote teams happy and engaged, wherever they may be.

March 30th, 2022
Could you be an owner of lost shares and investments?

Do you have a claim in Australia's forgotten billions?

Hundreds of millions are estimated to be sitting in long-forgotten accounts in Australia, just waiting to be collected. How are these assets separated from their owners in the first place, and what can you do if you think you have unclaimed shares?

March 24th, 2022
EIS can provide investors with up to  30% income tax relief, and also capital gains deferral,  loss relief and tax-free growth.
Capital Raising

A Quick Guide to the Seed / Enterprise Investment Scheme in the UK

The UK has incredible tax relief schemes but if founders don’t know about them and haven’t made their businesses eligible, guess what? Investors can lose interest, fast. The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) are the two schemes you need to get your head around ASAP.

March 17th, 2022
7 steps to raising capital for australian startups
Capital Raising

7 Steps to Raising Capital for Australian Startups

How do you prepare for a capital raise? What documents do you need? And how long will a capital raise take? We’ve set out the main steps required and major issues to consider when preparing for a raise.

March 16th, 2022
Man running out the door

How to reduce employee turnover and keep your best talent

People are quitting in record numbers around the world. Here's what you can do to avoid the pains of ‘The Great Resignation’ at your company and keep your talent from heading out the door.

March 15th, 2022
Streamline early stage capital raising with our toolkit
Capital Raising

Capital Raising Toolkit for Pre-Seed to Series A

Raises can be a full time job for 3-6 months, but you can save a lot of time by doing it the right way. Streamline early stage capital raising with our Capital Raising Toolkit. Sharing is caring!

March 4th, 2022
money stacked in piles and a couple in love
Capital Raising

For Love and Money: Ziinkle’s Equity Crowdfunding Slam-Dunk

The story of Ziinkle, a next-gen dating app success story that used a crowdfunding campaign on Birchal to raise over double their minimum target, all while using Cake to manage their cap raise.

March 3rd, 2022
State of Australian Startup Funding 2021 Report

State of Australian Startup Funding 2021 Report - Our Contribution

We're thrilled to have contributed to the inaugural State of Australian Startup Funding report produced by our partners Folklore and Cut Through Venture. The first of its kind, this comprehensive report looks into the key trends and issues shaping Australia's startup funding landscape.

March 1st, 2022
What is a 409a Valuation?
Capital Raising

Demystifying 409A Valuations: What are they and do you need one?

Mystified by 409a Valuations? Find out what they are, if you’re going to need one to offer equity and how to get one. Easy!

February 23rd, 2022
Vesting stages progressing up a hill

What is Vesting and how does it work?

Mystified by Vesting? Let us simplify: Vesting refers to the process by which the Option holder earns full rights to their Options, to allow them to be converted to stocks.

February 14th, 2022
Take the guesswork out of employee stock option plans

ESOP Guide for Employees

We've created the ultimate guide to help employees understand their ESOPs. We explain the value of your offer, vocabulary used, and outline the whole process from start to finish. If you're hiring, we recommend you share this guide with your new hires. Sharing is caring!

February 11th, 2022
It's important for startups to think about their broader employee value proposition when building teams

Three ways to build an effective and engaged team

So you’ve bootstrapped your way to some investment and need to hire a team to build a juggernaut. Startups face an array of challenges when it comes to recruiting - limited funds, saturated job markets, you name it - but we've got then secret sauce to help you attract and retain top talent. Read on.

February 10th, 2022
Take the guesswork out of employee stock option plans

Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOP) Guide

We've created the ultimate guide for founders wanting to get started with Employee Stock Option Plans. You'll get the recipe for success and learn the best-practice standards for ESOPs globally and in your country. Class is in session.

February 8th, 2022
Employees sharing the cake

ESOP Terms Cheat Sheet

So what does it all mean? We've created a glossary of key employee ownership and equity terms so you can walk the walk and talk the talk.

February 7th, 2022
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.

February 1st, 2022
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
A line drawing of a founder looking at her ESOP details

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 at a desk
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
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 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
Coworkers wave as employee leaves

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

Employee stock 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
checklist to find if your company is eligible for ESIC Incentives
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

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
What is an esop and why bother?

What is an Employee Stock 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's really 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