AST, through its Private Company Solutions (AST PCS) business unit, today launched its innovative software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based Astrella solution for privately-held companies, providing capitalization (cap) table and employee stock plan ownership data management tools for investors and employees. The SaaS solution, which provides employees and investors access to their holdings through a mobile app and integrates with partner companies such as Box, CharliAI, EquityZen, Derivatas and others, provides a total solution for small seed stage companies as well as larger, unicorn companies.
Astrella arrives at a time when private companies are waiting longer to contemplate an investor exit or a public offering — especially under today’s challenging market conditions. Cap tables are becoming more complex, and as a result, investors and employees are demanding sophisticated shareholder solutions like secondary market platforms and liquidity and lending programs. The growth and maturity of private markets requires maturity in ownership data management tools equal to public companies providing information and analysis of current executive ownership, equity value across investment rounds, and equity dilution. With the ability to track companies regardless of the country incorporated or their functional currency, Astrella is the first truly global solution built using private blockchain technology, predictive analytics and AI.
Marty Flanigan, CEO of AST, stated, “Until we built Astrella, private shareholder technology was decades behind public companies’. AST is the industry-leading provider for IPO services, shareholder communications and ownership data management. Our clients were asking us to leverage that expertise and develop a self-service solution supporting private companies globally. Astrella is a natural extension of what we do in meeting these needs. In combining our private company solutions with our public company suite of services, we now offer end-to-end self-service solutions to both private company as well as public company clients.”
Incorporating both distributed ledger and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, Astrella is designed from the ground up to bring new efficiencies and transparency to the growing equity ownership market and the increasing number of private equity firms, venture capital firms, family offices and others. Astrella is also designed to support multi-company portfolios, including private equity firms that wish to manage all of their companies in one place.
“The ‘new normal’ economic conditions after the COVID-19 outbreak portend great change for a private ownership market that was already increasingly global in nature and rapidly transforming, from an undisciplined past to structured corporate activity, trading and investment,” added Carine Schneider, AST PCS President. “Today, spreadsheets are managing trillions of dollars of investor wealth and have simply not kept up with the increasing complexity of private companies’ cap tables, potentially costing investors significant returns at exit. Astrella’s design elements are a perfect complement to this demand providing a robust data solution of institutional quality to an evolving market.”
Today’s formal introduction follows AST PCS’s Silicon Valley launch party at the Rosewood Hotel in Menlo Park, which featured a panel of experts moderated by Ms. Schneider and included former SEC Commissioner and Head of Legal at Robinhood, Dan Gallagher; Managing Partner of Riverwood Capital, Chris Varelas; and Wall Street Journal columnist Andy Kessler. The panel will reconvene on June 3 to provide a virtual update on the outlook of the private market since the launch party on March 3, 2020.
Companies can begin to license Astrella today by going to www.astrella.com for more information.
About AST Private Company Solutions, Inc.
Founded in 2019, AST PCS is an affiliate of AST and is focused on serving private companies worldwide. Astrella, a cloud-based SaaS solution, allows private companies to manage their ownership data, including the cap table and employee equity plans and to connect directly with related service providers to support efficient workflow, and provide access to investors, advisors and employees. For more information, visit www.astrella.com.
AST was originally founded as a transfer agent over 45 years ago. Through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, AST has pioneered a new model of integrated ownership data management, advisory services and financial technology in the industry. AST affiliates include AST Trust Company (Canada), D.F. King & Co, Inc., Donlin, Recano & Company, Inc and AST Private Company Solutions, Inc.
Today, AST offers a full scope of ownership services that include registry services, corporate proxy solicitation and advisory solutions, employee plan services, information agent, mutual fund proxy solicitation, shareholder identification and asset recovery offerings. For more information, please visit www.astfinancial.com.