– “Carta to Shift Focus: Prioritizing Trust by Exiting Secondaries Business”

Henry Ward Headshot 1
The big idea was to become the transfer agent, brokerage and clearinghouse for all private stock transactions in the world. While the move made Carta more valuable in the eyes of its venture backers — a company has to scale after all! In his post tonight, Ward downplayed the impacts of ending secondary trading on Carta, saying the revenue derived from the practice is minuscule compared with Carta’s other business offerings. Striking a humble tone, Ward wrote that “ALL of my ideas around liquidity — auctions, investor matching, secondary trading, open tender offers, have not worked. Many people think we are best poised to solve liquidity because we have cap table data.

Prominent Startup Accuses Carta, the Cap Table Management Firm, of Unethical Tactics

Henry Ward Headshot
But a prominent customer is now accusing Carta of misusing sensitive information that startups entrust to the company in pursuit of its own goals. The claim is raising wider questions about how Carta operates, even as Carta argues the incident was isolated. Feeling betrayed by Carta, Saarinen wrote on LinkedIn, “This might be the end of Carta as the trusted platform for startups. Ward also said the email to the Linear investor is not something that Carta condones. The cap table business and the CartaX (private stock liquidity) business are separate business units with separate teams and leadership.