"Unanimously, our employees love Ledgy. They really appreciate the clean user interface, and they get particular value from the amount of insight they have into their options and ownership."
Headquartered in Manchester, UK, Peak's customers use its Decision Intelligence software to connect data, improve decision-making and drive commercial growth. Peak was founded in 2014 and currently employs more than 200 people globally.
Having already raised $21 million at Series B in February 2021, Peak announced a $75 million Series C in August 2021, led by SoftBank.
John Fraser is Finance Director at Peak. He joined the Manchester-based scaleup in 2018 and has worked on three successful funding rounds during that time, raising a total of $112m.
Peak was John's first experience of working on venture fundraising, and he started early! The evening before his first day, CEO Richard Potter informed him the company had closed a funding round, which subsequently took up much of his time in his first few weeks in the role.
Three years on, and John has built his team from a one man band to a sizeable function that now numbers 10 team members. A big focus of his current role is growing the function and developing the team into the future as Peak continues to scale at pace.
John joined Peak from multi-national energy company Schlumberger. He held a number of roles over the course of his 10 years with Schlumberger, managing finance teams and global operations. John is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA) and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).
The equity challenge
“Unanimously, our employees love Ledgy. They really appreciate the clean user interface, and they get particular value from the amount of insight they have into their options and ownership.”
Peak's growth has created new challenges for John and his team. "The global Peak team has grown by 230% over the last three years. The number of people joining the company, and the rate of growth generally, meant that we needed to approach the way we were awarding shares differently." The answer they settled on was Ledgy.
Before Ledgy, John managed Peak's equity using spreadsheets. "We had one enormous spreadsheet that was effectively our cap table, and another spreadsheet to track new option grants and share awards." Frequently moving data between huge spreadsheets meant John often worried about human error leading to serious mistakes.
Another obstacle that risked disengaging employees from their share options was the difficulty of accessing clear, insightful information. "There was no intuitive environment for the team to access data and information that would help them understand their options, particularly more detailed elements like vesting schedules," says John.
After comparing three different providers, John opted to use Ledgy to manage Peak's equity and cap table. "I looked back at the notes I made from our conversations with Ledgy, and the highlight for me then – which is still true now – was the user interface, which was so simple and easy to understand," says John. "Ledgy doesn't overload anyone with complicated terms or charts they don't need. That was probably the key differentiator for us."
How Ledgy works for Peak
“Ledgy has knocked days – not hours, days – off the process of creating a new share option award. That really adds up when you think about what we've already achieved and how much further we still have to go. Compared to what we had before, it's night and day.”
Before Ledgy, Peak granted share awards once a year. Today, Ledgy lets John roll out share awards multiple times per year, each time issuing options to dozens of employees. Another way Ledgy saves John and his team time is by taking care of electronic signatures for share certificates and other documentation.
2021 was certainly a busy year of fundraising for Peak, with a $75 million Series C round being announced only months after Peak's Series B closed. During the process, Ledgy helped John and the rest of the leadership team keep investors up to date with detailed reports. "At one stage I needed to distribute a report of the cap table as it was at a certain date in the past. This would have been very painful and time-consuming on Excel, but with Ledgy I'm confident in the data and the functionality just makes it easy," says John.
Today, every new starter is introduced to Ledgy as part of the onboarding process. "We give every full-time Peak employee share options, and the way documents are handled inevitably differs from country to country. Ledgy has definitely helped us handle the administrative burden of collecting and managing this critical information across markets," says John.
What the future holds
As Peak continues to grow over the coming months and years, John is looking forward to marking future milestones with Ledgy: "After a round of funding, it's great to be able to tell our staff to go and check Ledgy to see what has happened with their share options and how the valuation has been affected."
At the same time, John continues to appreciate Ledgy's usefulness as a tool for employee engagement: "It's also great to have a single source of truth for ad hoc questions from the wider team." With fewer worries about mistakes and errors, and with every employee benefiting from their own dashboard with tailored valuation information and documentation, John and his team can direct employees to Ledgy rather than digging through data themselves. John now sees more questions on equity being asked by employees, "which is great as it shows people are eager to engage."
With Ledgy, John and his team have given the Peak team visibility and insight into their equity, as well as supporting investor communications and saving the finance team significant time on administrative tasks.
Read more stories from Ledgy's customers here.