Israeli stock option marketplace startup EquityBee has raised $1.5 million in a seed round led by WeWork founder Adam Neumann and with the participation of 10bis founder Tamir Carmel, Playbuzz CEO Shaul Olmert, Ron Gura and Oren Abekasis. The company has developed a platform that helps startup employees get the money they need to exercise their stock options before they expire.
With offices in Tel Aviv and Los Angeles, EquityBee was founded earlier this year by CEO Oren Barzilai, CTO Oded Golan and CFO Arik Moav. Barzilai says that EquityBee will use the funding to expand operations to the US where the market is estimated at $60 billion annually. The company has five employees and plans to hire ten more.
Barzilai adds, "Startup employees work in a company and spend a couple of years there and when they leave they have share options in the company that they can realize, which can be worth tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because of the costs involved, many employees simply don't realize anything and it's a shame because the financial investment is very good."
He continues, "If you want to realize the stock options, you need to find an investor, work out an agreement with a lawyer, and approve it. Most people don't have the necessary connections for this. We have built a regulatory infrastructure and we have a network of investors that we know and we offer them a deal and connect them with the employees. It's like Airbnb for options."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 13, 2018
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