"Finding pieces of information, even down to individual transactions, now takes seconds or minutes when it might have taken me hours before."
About Isar Aerospace
Isar Aerospace was founded in 2018 by Daniel Metzler, Josef Fleischmann and Markus Brandl. Isar is reinventing the economics of space flight by building more efficient and cost-effective launch technologies for satellites.
Having raised a Series A round in 2019, Isar announced a $91 million Series B in 2020 and closed a Series B extension of $75 million in 2021.
Martin Schleich is Isar Aerospace's Chief of Staff. Before joining Isar Martin worked as an investment analyst at Surplus Invest, working with startups across Europe. He came on board with Isar in autumn 2020.
Ownership before Ledgy
“Our equity was highly dependent on spreadsheets and paper, which created unnecessary friction and didn’t deliver an enjoyable experience for the team or for me. We needed to find a different solution.”
Martin joined Isar to help the company’s founders manage information flow and make good decisions more quickly. Isar’s share ownership was still managed directly by the founders, which wouldn’t necessarily scale over the long term. This meant Martin was well placed to assume ownership of equity-related work.
Managing the employee share option plan was certainly not seamless, though. Martin says, “We were all signing and scanning documents manually, dealing with lots of paperwork, and generally sharing information on share options quite slowly and inefficiently.”
With Isar planning significant growth in the months and years ahead, Martin wanted to design a share ownership process “that had a little more emotion, and where the experience wasn’t just another contract to sign”. A best-in-class product would also help Isar continue to have meaningful conversations with investors as it planned and executed future funding rounds.
Finding the right product
“We wanted a solution that could handle the complexity of the European market, and which gave our employees a great experience.”
When he began his search for an equity management product that could help resolve some of the inefficiencies Isar was experiencing, Martin spoke to a number of different providers. “I ran into two problems: either these suppliers weren’t tailored for the needs of a European company growing and hiring in multiple markets, or they had neglected the user experience, for administrators as well as employees.”
When Martin came across Ledgy, he identified that Ledgy could be the “one-stop shop” he and Isar needed. “The prospect of having a truly paperless process was exciting, and I knew our employees would be more engaged by a clean, responsive user interface.”
Isar came on board with Ledgy in February 2021. As Isar moved its share ownership data on to the platform, Martin quickly saw the impact of Ledgy’s customer experience team. “The account management and support has been really strong. With the help of our customer experience manager, we were able to execute quite a technical stock split which would have been very difficult otherwise.”
Pleasing people with equity
“I didn’t want our employees to have to ‘learn’ another piece of software. With Ledgy, it’s intuitive from the first day.”
When it came to deciding on the right equity management software, Isar’s employees were a primary concern for Martin. He decided to “make the most of the opportunity we had to educate employees who were not experts on equity.” This meant putting a spotlight on Ledgy during the onboarding process, highlighting the transition and hosting company-wide discussions on the employee participation plan and equity more generally. “The impact of this has been lots of engagement and productive conversations with our employees, which shows they are taking their equity seriously.”
Martin still runs Q&A sessions on share ownership twice a year, and has created resources on how equity works at Isar for the whole company to access. From day to day, employees can also engage with their Ledgy dashboards and view different scenario models set up by Isar, “which really helps the team put their ownership in context.”
Isar's equity and ownership today: less admin, more time
“Ledgy has been a game-changer for our employee participation plan, and it saves me significant amounts of time every month.”
Using Ledgy has helped Martin move away from the paper-heavy process that previously hampered Isar’s equity management. “Ledgy promised me a paperless share ownership process, and that has been delivered.”
For any Chief of Staff, effective information retrieval is key, and Ledgy has helped Martin streamline this process when it comes to equity. “Finding pieces of information, even down to individual transactions, now takes seconds or minutes when it might have taken me hours before.” Martin is also able to share documentation with employees within the app, reducing the administrative burden further.
With Ledgy set up to scale alongside the business, all Isar employees will benefit from access to vital data on share ownership, keeping the whole team engaged and motivated as Isar continues to grow.
Read more stories from Ledgy's customers here.