Imagine a nerdy, bean counter-ish accountant nestled in dark corner wrestling with a spreadsheet. For some, this is what comes to mind when they think of the term “Cap Table.”

With the advancements taking place in the nascent world of technology a reframe of this mindset is emerging, one that promises to revolutionize the world of business capital and investments.

Cap Tables or “capitalization tables,” are a spreadsheet or digital table that highlights a company’s ownership percentages, level and value of equity for founders, investors, and other owners involved in investment rounds.

The purpose of this record-keeping system is to provide a snapshot of all of the shareholders and security holders of a business. This tally is designed to ensure that the share count of a business or enterprise is equal to the total number of shares held by investors and other security holders such as management team members, founders, paid advisors, and rank-in-file staff.

Typically employed by startups and early-stage private companies, Cap Tables ideally will include a record of all equity ownership capital, including common and preferred equity shares and pricing, convertible equity, and warrants. A more in-depth table might integrate elements such as new funding sources, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and other sorts of enterprise related transactions.

Because companies are in a constant state of evolution and flux, traditional ways of ensuring that cap tables are continuously updated can be quite involved, particularly if it involves a large scale, rapidly growing business. The issuance of new securities, option pool increases, or the granting of options to employees is among the myriad events that can trigger a change to a capitalization table. Same with a termination event such as when employees exit a business or an investor redeems, transfers, or sells shares.

Harnessing “Cap Tables” As A Decision-making Tool”

There are countless decisions made over the life of a business that impact capitalization. By way of example, if new financing is being sought, a series of scenarios may be needed to assess key factors such as valuations. Or the recruitment of a new Chief Operating Officer where a candidate might request to review key information and metrics on the strategic position of the company. Bottom line, an accurate and up-to-date cap table appraisal allow good business decisions to be made thoughtfully and rapidly.

Here’s another key consideration: If your company is venture backed, you are likely under the auspices of “protective provisions” which require various approvals prior to taking certain actions.

By way of example, let’s say that your business is seeking new financing. Your charter probably requires that separate consents be obtained from a majority of Series A, B, and C shares.

In this scenario, your cap table should reflect the percentage of Series A and B shares (together) held by each individual holder as well as the Series C share percentage held by each holder. This will allow you to quickly gather the necessary consents for your new financing.

A Jump “START” To Cap Table Management

At Equa our aim is to provide a simplified solution to capitalization tables, one that reduces the time, labor and friction around a stock transfer. Here, the computation and retention can be done using technology (versus by an error-prone human) resulting in a faster, cheaper and more accurate outcome.

We are also rapidly progressing toward providing our clients with new technology solutions that allow ownership transfers to take place in minutes at little or no cost. This signals a vast improvement over time and costs attributed to current best practices.

Currently, with the transfer of ownership, two signatures are required by the parties selling the equity, a process that can drag on for month amid busy schedules. With this new solution, digital signatures will be able to be captured allowing for the process and even settlement times to be accelerated.

Finally, Equa's solution promises to mitigate a great deal of the record-keeping labor costs associated with transferring equity. With the prospect of record-keeping being done on-chain, there is no cost attributed to humans.

In the end, cap tables through instant, online issuance and transfer of company stock without transfer fees signify a groundbreaking innovation for today’s rapidly emerging “ownership economy.” This move to instant records of ownership tied to work efforts and communications signifies Equa's leading role in blazing a new future for business record-keeping and document management.

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

This interview was recorded during this year’s Anarchapulco conference on The Crypto Show (thecryptoshow.com)

In the Interview, Shawn discusses the following topics.

· Consensual Agreements

· Smart Contracts

· Operating Agreements

· Business Management UX

· Cap Tables

Also featured in an earlier segment of this interview was a conversation with Ashe Oro. Ashe has been a long-time proponent of blockchain and entrepreneurship. If you would like to learn more about what he’s working on please go to https://soundcloud.com/heryptohow/ashe-oro-and-shawn-owens-at-anarchapulco.

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

Running a corporation can be a massive undertaking. Whether handling assets, executing transactions, or managing document trails, the underlying operational dynamics can be quite complex.

The growth trajectory of new and emerging businesses worldwide shows no signs of abating. With this comes a steady stream of asset transactions, friction, and regulatory due diligence. Absent efficient corporate systems friction can occur in the corporate landscape resulting in greater expense and bottlenecks for those engaged in corporate governance and business operations.

Equa, an innovative startup providing a document creation and management portal for the smooth functioning of a business is poised to address these prevailing issues. In blazing a new path toward the frictionless flow of documents and equity ownership transactions, Equa will be employing a cutting edge solution tied to the Ravencoin blockchain.

Taking Flight With Ravencoin

Today’s equity transfer process has become quite intricate, often requiring a series of signatures and paperwork to execute. Shares of ownership in a company need good recordkeeping. It’s here where blockchain can automatically provide cryptographically sealed security mechanisms that validate every issuance, transfer, and sale of shares in an organization.

The Raven blockchain or Ravencoin, as it is more affectionately known, is a digital ecosystem that fosters the efficient creation and transfer of assets between parties. By employing a protocol tied to a fork in the Bitcoin code, it provides a mechanism for tokens to be issued on the Raven blockchain. This feature can help mitigate many of the complexities associated with managing corporate assets.

Embodying best practices and fully compliant methodology, these tokens can be individually tailored to reflect quantity limits, asset names, utility, and other qualities just like stocks on public exchanges like Nasdaq. The beauty here is that tokens can be produced within minutes and used to transact worldwide.

Raven’s supporters tout its advantages over Ethereum in terms of the ability of the protocol to differentiate assets and regular transactions. In general, it offers a more frictionless experience in the transacting of contracts and agreements between various parties.

All in all, it offers a more efficient, speedier process for digital asset transactions to take place.

By way of example, in December of 2018 Medici Ventures, a leading blockchain accelerator and a subsidiary of Overstock.com, Inc., successfully executed a digital securities token transfer tied to its equity ownership in Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based Chainstone Labs. This $3.6 million securities token transfer, one of the first equity tokens issued using a public blockchain, took place through the use of Ravencoin.

Here is a video highlighting this transaction:

Asked about Raven’s growing repute as a leading worldwide digital asset network, lead developer Tron Block had this to offer:

“Honestly, that’s not a claim that we’re making. In fact, I would argue that if there were only one leading digital asset peer-to-peer network, it very quickly fail under a tremendous load. We’ve seen this happen in the past with ETH and Crypto Kitties. So I believe there will be many of these networks, each suited to different purposes and large enough to be secure, and well distributed.”

He says that the Ravencoin Network as it exists today provides functionality like ERC-20, but with much better ease of use.

“Currently there are wallets for Linux, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Web. You can create your own asset in ten seconds, and send it to anyone with those platforms.”

In terms of the sorts of solutions Raven hopes to deliver to Equa, Black had this to offer:

“Ravencoin has new capabilities on testnet that are perfectly aligned with what Equa is seeking to do. Once messaging and memos hit main-net, the ability to transfer tokens and add additional data that is immutable using the combination of Ravencoin and IPFS will become a reality.”

Black says that the owner of a token with a private key associated with a name will anchor the trust. That token owner can then transfer tokens to himself or others, attaching hashes that are immutable.

He cites a number of Equa documents including incorporation, board meeting minutes, and changes to corporate purpose, where Raven’s value proposition could apply.

By aligning the blockchain advancements spirited by Raven, Equa is taking aim at creating a new normal for frictionless business by bringing living, breathing documents and digital assets all under one umbrella.

Trust. Consent. Radical Transparency. Community. Openness. Innovation — these are the “North Star” principles that serve as a guide for Equa's ambitious foray into the management of frictionless business documents.

And Ravencoin is perched to help Equa take flight.

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

Maintaining low operational costs amid a sea of legal documents is an ongoing challenge for today’s businesses. Manual processes are often costly, inefficient, and fraught with inaccuracies.

Given this prevailing trend, growing numbers of companies are exploring the viability of artificial intelligence (AI) as a potential solution for streamlining their document management systems.

The use of AI is not a new trend. Rather it’s already exerting a quiet presence in our lives. Whether it be personalized playlists on Spotify, book recommendations on Amazon, or the curation of Netflix movie options, AI is fueling an impressive set of advancements.

Now, AI’s algorithmic approach is seen as a revolutionary approach to document management, providing new ways for storing, archiving, processing, and extracting information. Unlike traditional data processing systems tied to a consistent set of logic, AI systems become more intelligent as data volumes increase.

OCR (optical character recognition) is a key element in AI’s promise. Allowing for text recognition, it is able to “read” document information, correctly classify it, and automate workflows based on that classification. This signals a new normal for managing large numbers of scanned documents with human-level accuracy. This information can be efficiently read, contextually understood, and extracted.

By way of example, an AI-powered document management system could sort through invoices and other key information. Organizations will also be able to access data tied to how documents relate to one another (i.e. shipping order and invoice), providing deep levels of analysis that have since been impossible.

Securing The Future

Data security is a top-of-mind concern for today’s business leaders. AI-driven document management systems can boost security and protect customer data by offering permissioned access protocols that help mitigate the unauthorized viewing or alteration of documents. It can protect documents by safeguarding the files in conjunction with whitelists, blacklists, and firewalls.

AI technologies allow for post-scanning character recognition, virtually mitigating the need for human intervention. All this can occur in fractions of a second, resulting in significant cost savings and enhanced efficiency for an organization.

AI thought leader and expert Mariya Yao, in her book Applied Artificial Intelligence: A Handbook For Business Leaders noted:

“While brilliant minds worry about achieving marginal improvements in competitive benchmarks, the nitty-gritty issues of productizing and operationalizing AI for real-world use cases are often ignored. Who cares if you can solve a problem with 99 percent accuracy if no one needs that problem solved? What’s the utility of a tool whose purpose is so arcane that no one is sure what problem it was trying to solve in the first place?”

Equa is committed to these sorts of real-world applications for the business world — With the advent of AI, the future of document management systems hold immense promise, with early adopters first in line to reap the rewards.

Concludes Equa founder and CEO Shawn Owen:

“AI is how we get to frictionless agreements. By knowing the information of all parties involved, AI can instantly answer all of the needed information in any given situation to form agreements that are near ready to sign at any time.”

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

In this episode of the “What Is Money?” Project podcast Sten & Shawn explore a broad range of perspectives on how money has shaped their life experiences, pains, and passions.

Enjoy!

Originally posted June 10, 2019

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

As entrepreneurs continue to fuel the growth of registered businesses around the world, our team here at Equa aims to foster a one-stop, world-class destination for the management of documents, banking, and compliance.

By focusing on business creation and agreement simplification, Equa aims to significantly reduce the time and money demands associated with launching and managing an enterprise.

At Equa we strongly support trailblazing business leaders who demonstrate a visionary spirit in their entrepreneurial pursuits. Accordingly, we would like to introduce you to Denver businesswoman Keo Frazier who agreed to be our first EquaPROFILE feature interview.

Ms. Frazier is the co-founder of Fractional Executive, a startup firm that endeavors to help small businesses with tight resources propel their strategies and initiatives forward without having to sacrifice or hire a full-time strategic executive. Supported by a collaborative group of women business partners, FE will provide strategy, planning, and execution tactics services to businesses, utilizing easy-to-use systems and templates.

Below, Frazier offers a few thoughts about today’s ever-changing entrepreneurial environment.

On Launching Fractional Executive

In recent months, I began noticing that a lot of people were reaching out to me in the hopes that I could assist them with marketing and strategic planning, things that often require a higher-level executive. But often they can’t afford to hire someone on a permanent basis for their organization. So with Fractional Executive, they can receive all of the benefits they would otherwise have with a full-time executive without the long-term commitment.

On Her Current Work

I’ve been going into companies helping them with very high-level things while being integrated into their team. Once I finish what they need me to do, I step away and then come back to re-evaluate.

On Target Market

We target small companies, sort of the small to growing companies, those companies that really can’t afford to pay someone for a high-level leadership role but they still need some important things done strategically. That’s where it started and where we’re heading.

On Startup Companies

It’s painful to watch business leaders piecemeal their organizations together, whether it be their marketing stuff or their operations. I see a lot of that occurring with different companies and industries.

On Why Focus Is Important

In my view, it’s important to be a master of one thing versus a jack of all trades. Those who pursue the latter often end up doing most of it poorly because things constantly fall outside of their area of expertise. So when starting a company and running it, the smartest CEO’s who are good in a particular area like, say, being a visionary or strategist, focus on that.

On Doing Too Much, Too Soon

I find that small companies think they can do it all and they end up struggling in the first couple of years when the reality is they can’t do it all and, most importantly, can’t do it all well. Fractional Executive was started in part to encourage founders to pursue becoming a master of one thing while allowing other people to pick up the rest.

On Why Business Systems Are Essential

If you don’t have systems in place, things can quickly become a mess with your business. Then you have to frequently go back in and fix things. I see so many companies still behaving like a two-person shop versus a 20 person company. And in a realm like finance or accounting, they tend to do things as if they were a 1–2 person shop versus a full-on small business.

On Compliance Requirements

Compliance is huge. It’s imperative for business leaders to ensure that they’re in line with not only what their industry requires but what the government requires. Because at the end of the day, there’s nothing worse than not having everything in order when you’re audited.

On the Importance of Documentation

When you haven’t been maintaining good documentation, it can make things very hard on your business. Sadly, it often takes going through and failing an audit for things to really sink in. So as a business owner, I believe you CANNOT be in compliance. Because if you get audited, you could possibly end up losing the business you’ve built because you didn’t take care of your stuff upfront.

On Women Business Owners

I know many women are struggling with this whole glass ceiling idea. But let me say this. What if there wasn’t a ceiling? And what if we looked at things as though there wasn’t anyone there to hinder us. Of course, I’m not denying that the barriers exist. But what if we could push past the idea of being held back and cut the fear out. What if we as women we got out of our own way?

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

Data rooms are cloud applications that facilitate the secure storage and sharing of confidential information, including business documents. These virtual constellations are now the norm and are rapidly replacing the need for actual physical documentation.

Properly administered, these systems represent an additional layer of security for business documents. They can also reduce friction when it comes to the movement of documents contributing to the speed and execution of a transaction.

Essentially, a data room acts as a hub for all sorts of engagements that require a robust and secure environment for storage, management, and sharing of business information. These systems then become globally accessible through an internet connection.

Companies facing various forms of due diligence and asset management requests find data room solutions of immense value. They are particularly useful in the facilitation of collaborations and working relationships between business stakeholders.

Traditionally employed in the financial world, data room use cases have experienced a major growth trajectory over the past decade. Mergers and acquisitions and joint venture investments are two realms where virtual data has grown in popularity. Operating agreements, patents, and compliance records are other areas where these digital systems are seeing growing adoption.

In the future, data room solutions will increasingly make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to boost such features as automatic document translations and query management. Other features that are making an advancement include notation systems, advanced permissions, and multi-factor authentication.

Then there’s the emergence of Blockchain that promises to upend the world of traditional archiving, with secure data rooms validated with the timestamping phase of a transaction.

Below is a list of common questions and answers about the Equa data room and why Equa represents such a promising new normal for businesses and enterprises.

How are documents transferred into the Equa data room?

The client success team will work with you every step of the way to ensure an easy and secure upload of your files to the Equa data room. Through this manual process, we collect everything our clients need to set up a corporate data room successfully. We conduct a thorough gap analysis of your documents before migrating them into our system.

As we begin to digitize the individual and unique clauses of operating documents, vendor documents, employment documents, cap tables, — anything tied to governance and compliance activities within your organization, we will turn all of those documents into digital forms that will be updatable and changeable as you progress through your business cycles. Our aim is to ensure a smooth and safe transmittal of this information.

Who manages a data room, Equa or the client?

The aim is for both Equa and you, the client, to have full administrative control over the contents of a data room. What that means is, while Equa could produce documents that could land in your data room, you as a client will also have your own documents that you’ll want to upload and manage.

What makes the Equa data room so valuable?

Keeping track of myriad business documents is an immense, time-consuming hassle for most organizations. A compliance review can be an absolute nightmare as well, unless you’re fortunate enough to have a really good lawyer who’s exquisitely well organized with files and can retrieve them on a moments notice. The value of a data room is in this retrievability, along with the accessibility and authoritativeness of having the most recent, up to date independently verifiable source of a document.

How easily can we retrieve documents?

With Equa, not only are your documents retrievable on a moment’s notice, but you also have the ability to amend them very quickly. And it’s very cost-effective compared to other options.

How do we engage with the Equa platform once our documents have been downloaded?

Our intuitive dashboard comes with simple and easy-to-understand workflows to ensure a world-class user experience. This, in turn, helps to boost the overall efficiency of your document storage and retrieval processes.

What if we want to make changes to a document?

The ability to make changes or amendments to any governing document is essential to ensuring the most up to date, accurate repository. Equa provides a seamless platform for ensuring a single source of truth for all your documents.

How does this update and access process actually occur?

Once uploaded, we’ll produce the original documents which will allow those designated to digitally signed these documents. We will also create hashed versions of these for the blockchain with those links of information stored within our system so you can see the who and when of any amendments to the document.

Who controls access to these documents?

Once you make changes to, say, a Capitalization Table or other operational document, we’re going to back that up on a blockchain, creating a public record that’s independently verifiable by each individual who had access to the original document via a private key. Here at Equa, we’ll help you manage and control access to those documents, along with providing auditable records of all of who accessed them and when they were accessed.

And who can be given access?

That’s for you to determine. It could include two corporate administrators, a president and a vice-president, the corporate lawyer or employees who have been issued stocks in an organization. Each person is going to have different levels of access to the data room, or different data rooms specific to their needs. Those different levels of access will provide them with different pieces of information that are appropriate for their levels of exposure.

Is there a particular protocol that ensures this access?

Essentially what we’re talking about here is data storage with private key encryption and basic log in protection which allows each person access at the appropriate levels. Audit trails are then going to tag along as people with the right credentials are able to access certain documents.

What about our paper documents?

Paper versions do ultimately get filed with some jurisdictional or government agency. The good news is that digital options to file those paper versions have been developed. Those are the types of partnerships we’re looking to build through Equa over time.

What is the ultimate value proposition that Equa delivers?

For both you as a business and your community of stakeholders, your cost and productivity value exponentially increase in terms of greater efficiencies around agreements. Decisions can be made more quickly with the rapid processing and dissemination of information. It’s like rocket fuel for businesses that want to move more quickly while staying compliant.