How Xebia found time to execute an ambitious growth strategy with Ledgy
"In total, we are probably saving a couple of weeks of administrative work per year, which translates to significant time saved every month."
Xebia is a global software, IT and digital consultancy. Its 4,000 employees are based across the Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom, India, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Dubai, Poland, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, Vietnam, Singapore and Australia.
Xebia is private equity-backed and was founded in 2001.
Wesley ten Cate is Senior Counsel, Corporate and Legal Operations at Xebia. He joined Xebia in 2021, having previously worked on legal affairs at organizations including CBRE, Uber, and Fox Networks Group.
Ownership before Ledgy: stuck on spreadsheets
Wesley joined Xebia at an inflection point for the business, with the company executing on an acquisition-led growth strategy. In 2021 Xebia made six acquisitions, with the aim of making another six in 2022.
Each acquisition brought new stakeholders on to what was already a complex cap table. To make matters worse, all share ownership data was contained in spreadsheets, meaning that Wesley and Xebia’s CFO spent significant time making manual adjustments in Excel files.
Running equity from spreadsheets led to complications. “Different people were saving local versions of documents to their desktops, which made it increasingly difficult to have a really authoritative view of the latest cap table,” says Wesley.
Because equity was not transparent for the whole company, Wesley also had to deal with requests for information on equity stakes from team members around the business.
Equity 2.0: the search for software
Working together with his CFO, Wesley decided to investigate software solutions that could help resolve Xebia’s equity challenges. He opened up discussions with several providers, including Carta and Ledgy.
When assessing different equity management products, Wesley focused his attention on the way different providers dealt with vital documentation such as contracts . He realized that “only Ledgy could deal with documentation in the way we needed,” locating each document alongside the relevant transaction or grant in the app.
Wesley also recognized the potential for Ledgy to add value with a simpler and more intuitive experience for employees. “We wanted to give team members real knowledge and understanding of their equity stakes, and I saw that Ledgy would allow us to deliver these insights to the company.”
Putting more ownership in employees' hands
Today, Xebia has 175 employees active on Ledgy, and when team members got their hands on their equity dashboards Wesley immediately identified a difference in the level of engagement with share ownership. “We saw the positive feedback straight away, which gives us confidence that Ledgy was the right move to keep the team engaged over the long term.”
Wesley worked alongside Ledgy’s “fantastic” Customer Experience team to design a simple structure for managing international equity plans side by side, with a single employee share pool split out into country-specific plans. Because every transaction on Ledgy is automatically tied back to the correct documentation, analyzing and sharing Xebia’s cap table is far more reliable, as well as being substantially faster.
The equity situation today: saving time and capacity
To Wesley, Xebia’s equity management can now function as a catalyst for the company’s acquisition-led growth strategy. “In a competitive and fast-moving market, being able to access and share a dynamic, fully diluted cap table in seconds rather than hours or days is a definite advantage.”
Along the way, Ledgy’s efficiencies and process improvements save Wesley and his colleagues meaningful time. “Ordinarily, during an acquisition we would have to conduct a manual matching exercise to make sure our shareholder register was totally up to date with no errors. This process is now trivial with Ledgy, saving us around a day of work every time we execute one of these transactions.”
Having greater confidence in company-level equity data has set up Xebia’s legal and finance teams to deliver on Xebia’s acquisition plans. Click here to read more stories from Ledgy's customers.