It’s hard not to be impressed by the line of startups taking the SPAC or more traditional IPO route to the public sector, and the massive funding rounds sparking new Israeli Unicorns, with 5 of them coming during 2021’s first 2 months. EquityBee, an Israeli startup that helps employees realize their stock options, closed a $20 million funding round. The investment was led by Group 11, with participation from Zeev Ventures, Battery Ventures, and ICON Continuity. The company reports $28.3 million in totally fundraising to date.
More than doubling the number of employees who realized their options
EquityBee connects employees who want to realize their stock options, but don’t have the necessary capital, with investors. The employees anonymously insert their options details into the EquityBee platform, opening up the opportunity for investors to examine the numbers and decide if to take stake in realizing the employee’s options.
If an investor decides to help an employee realize their options, the money is transferred to a trustee, who actuates the transaction. Both sides will split the profits once the employee can liquidate their options - following an acquisition or IPO. This means that investors can find themselves waiting for months, or even years to see return.
According to EquityBee, the number of employees to utilize the company’s service more than doubled in 2020, when comparing to 2019. At the same time, the number of investors quadrupled this past year to a community of 8,000, and since the platform was launched, tens of millions of dollars have been raised in over a thousand different transactions. Among the companies who saw their options realize through the platform we find the top of Israeli Unicorns, including Taboola, IronSource, Innoviz, monday.com, and some who have already gone public, like JFrog, or acquired like Spot and Moovit.
“We are witnessing an awakening in the IPO market. For the employees, our main target crowd, this is spells excellent news because it means that they will be able to liquidate their stocks and receive reward for all their hard work,” explains CEO and co-founder Oren Barzilai in a conversation with Geektime.
EquityBee was founded in 2018 by CEO Oren Barzilai, CPO Oded Golan, and COO Mody Radashkovich. The company currently employs a team of 30, which it plans on doubling this year.