When Yin Wu started Pulley, a cap table and equity management startup, back in 2019, she was out to compete with the likes of Carta. My colleague Connie Loizos spoke to Wu in 2020 when the company raised $10 million.
The company provides tools and insights to founders and employees who are looking to make more informed decisions about their equity ownership as it relates to hiring and fundraising, while also staying compliant with aspects like taxes and accounting.
“Equity is something that we’re continuing to increasingly to see,” Wu told TechCrunch. “For us, it’s not so much how we take market share from partners, but rather we think this market is continuing to grow, and how can we be a large part of that? We are very much building for equity insights. It’s not just about how you record how much equity someone has on a cap table, but how do you help someone make the decisions around this?”
Fast-forward 2 years and Pulley, also co-founded by Mark Erdmann, continues to hold its own. The company now works with over 1,700 companies, and revenue tripled in the last year.
In addition, Pulley today announced it picked up another $40 million in Series B dollars earlier this year. The round was led by Keith Rabois at Founders Fund and included existing investors, such as Stripe and Elad Gil.
It also launched its free plan, called Pulley Seed, for new customers that have fewer than 25 stakeholders. They can model and compare different funding scenarios, raise capital and set up equity grants for employees, all at no cost.
Pulley is also helping companies weather this economic downturn, and though most of the companies Pulley works with are at an earlier stage and aren’t seeing the kinds of layoffs occurring in later stages, I asked Wu what kinds of questions Pulley was getting from customers.
“Companies are often asking what if they have to raise a down round, or what happens when people go,” she said. “That is really a question for lawyers and accountants. However, we also get questions about specific situations around equity, including if you leave a company. Remember that you have a time period to go and exercise the options, so make sure that you have the capital if you want to exercise options.”
The new investment gives Pulley about $50 million in total funding raised to date. Though Wu didn’t disclose a specific valuation, she did say it was “a significant increase” over the company’s valuation in the last round.
Wu plans to use the new funds to add to Pulley’s workforce of 40 and to expand on product engineering and marketing, which is a new focus for the company, she added.
In addition, the company now has a board of directors, and as part of the investment, Rabois will join the board. Wu explained that Founders Fund shared in Pulley’s core belief of helping founders, and she and Erdmann liked that Rabois had the kind of operational experience that has him working with companies at all different stages.
“Companies are in a tough spot,” said Rabois in a written statement. “Equity decisions are harder than ever before, but the tools to manage them have not kept pace. Pulley helps users understand and make the most out of their ownership. There’s never been a more urgent time than now to get a handle on your equity.”