At Ledgy, we are invested in boosting the technology ecosystem in Europe. More and more European companies are founded with global ambitions, and the best VC firms from around the world are investing more in Europe.
As Europe sees more companies scaling and finding success, we want more founders and employees to access the fuel, capital and ambition to play their part in funding the startups of the future.
Two great examples of this phenomenon in action are wefox founders Julian Teicke and Fabian (Fabi) Wesemann. Julian and Fabi have built wefox into one of world’s most successful private companies emerging out of Europe by making insurance digital, swift and simple. But that’s not all. They have been leading the debate on how startups in Europe can compete on a global stage to challenge the tech giants in the US. In turn, the benefits to the ecosystem will be considerable whereby more founders and employees will access the capital to found and invest in the next generation of startups. This can only be a good thing.
Fabi and Julian have been motivated by the topic of equity for a long time. wefox is one of the most progressive private technology companies in Europe, with every full-time employee holding an equity stake in the business. At Ledgy, wefox showed trust in our product and mission, becoming customers when Ledgy was still a seed-stage startup.
And a couple of years on from wefox becoming a Ledgy customer, we are excited to welcome Julian and Fabi as angel investors in Ledgy’s recent Series B funding round. Their investment in Ledgy is an example of the European startup ecosystem in action, with successful founders identifying high-potential companies to support as they execute their missions. We see their partnership as a real vote of confidence in the huge potential of equity in Europe.
To mark the occasion, we asked Julian and Fabi a few questions about their experience with Ledgy, and why transitioning from customers to investors made sense.
Getting introduced to Ledgy as customers
Let’s get started with a question about your experience using Ledgy. What did you think when you first interacted with the product?
Julian: I am extremely happy to see that there is a great European solution to this incredibly challenging problem – how to handle equity and share ownership as companies scale and do business across markets. I grew up in Germany but studied at the University of St Gallen in Switzerland, so it also made me happy to see a Swiss founding team tackling this problem.
Fabi: From the moment we were introduced to Ledgy, we could see that this was something wefox would need if we were going to build a sustainable company where everyone has a fair share of our success. The ease of use for our compensation and benefits team, as well as senior stakeholders, massively reduces the amount of time we spend on equity in a week or a month. This in turn frees up the team to add more strategic value, with less time spent on mundane and manual processes.
Deciding to invest in Ledgy's Series B
I also want to touch on your recent angel investment in Ledgy as part of our Series B funding round. What did you see in Ledgy that convinced you to participate in the round?
Julian: I would say first of all that Yoko and her co-founders Ben and Timo are exceptionally mission-driven: they really want to make the world a better place and they are committed to building Ledgy for the long term. Fabi and I work hand in hand with The Delta, a founder support system that works closely with founders on their investments and ventures. We think carefully about our investment strategies: we certainly don’t invest in every opportunity that comes along. I only invest when I am truly excited by a company and a market. And the company’s values have to be aligned with my own!
Fabi: There are so many asymmetries in how equity is handled across Europe, not to mention globally. Look at Germany, where ESOPs are much harder to handle than they are in the UK, for example. This has a real impact on how companies scale in these markets. Ledgy is driving progress forward and can play a very important role as different markets establish – hopefully – common standards for how to treat share options and give their investors and teams a great experience being shareholders.
Today's most important tech challenges
Lastly, you both broadcast your opinions on a diverse range of topics, from company culture, to politics, through to equity and compensation topics. What big topics motivate you to offer your view? Is there an advantage for the European tech ecosystem when founders speak out and use their profiles?
Julian: When I see a structural issue in technology, a sector I care a lot about, I am always motivated to comment and try to improve the problem we’re facing. Equity is an especially tricky problem to solve for international companies – sadly, we are not yet close to an international standard for granting share options and making sure equity is fair when allocated across countries.
Fabi: I am similarly passionate about these issues, and I think the pieces of the solution will come together through different paths and maybe at different times. So adding my voice to the debate is one thing, but partnering with companies like Ledgy, and adopting best in class solutions for the team to actually use at wefox, are other small ways we can hopefully make a difference.
Our thanks to Julian and Fabi for their time, and we can’t wait to scale alongside them in the months and years ahead! For more on Ledgy’s fundraising, take a look at Ledgy CEO Yoko’s thoughts on our Series B fundraising milestone
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