Carta's Struggles: From $8.5 billion to a $2 Billion Valuation

Carta's Struggles: From $8.5 billion to a $2 Billion Valuation

Sophia Delgado
2 min read

Carta's Struggles: From Silicon Valley Darling to Valuation Plunge

Once a Silicon Valley darling, Carta is now exploring a secondary sale that could value the company at $2 billion, a significant drop from its peak valuation of $8.5 billion. Initially aiming for a $4 billion valuation, the reality seems to have hit hard as the company, known for its cap table management software, has faced challenges and controversies. Carta's ambitious pivot to become a "private stock market" stumbled after a public dispute involving the misuse of customer data, leading to a retreat from secondary trading. Despite generating $380 million in revenue last year, Carta posted a $65 million loss and faces difficulties in expanding its profitable operations. As it navigates these hurdles, Carta's journey highlights the volatile nature of startup valuations and the challenges of sustaining rapid growth in the tech industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Carta is pursuing a secondary sale aiming for a $2 billion valuation, down from a previous $8.5 billion.
  • The company, initially valued at $1.7 billion in 2019, reached $7.4 billion in 2021 before its valuation began to decline.
  • Carta faced controversy over allegedly misusing customer data to facilitate secondary sales without consent.
  • Following the scandal, Carta exited the secondary trading business to prioritize trust and customer data integrity.
  • Despite generating $380 million in revenue, Carta reported a loss of $65 million in 2023 and faces challenges in expanding its business.


Carta's valuation plummeted due to a controversial misuse of customer data, leading to a retreat from secondary trading. This scandal not only damaged trust but also hindered their pivot to a "private stock market." The short-term consequence is a significant drop in valuation and a loss despite substantial revenue, indicating operational inefficiencies. Long-term, Carta must rebuild trust and refocus on core strengths to stabilize. The secondary sale at a reduced valuation reflects market skepticism about their growth potential, impacting investor confidence and potentially setting a precedent for other high-valuation startups facing similar challenges.

Did You Know?

  • Cap Table Management Software: This software is designed to track and manage ownership stakes in a company, particularly in startups where equity distribution can be complex. It ensures transparency and compliance with legal and financial regulations by keeping accurate records of shares, options, and other equity instruments.
  • Secondary Sale: This type of transaction involves existing shareholders selling their stakes to new investors without the company issuing new shares. It allows early investors or employees to cash out their holdings without the company receiving new capital.
  • Valuation: In the context of startups, valuation refers to the estimated worth of a company based on financial metrics and projections. It is influenced by factors such as market demand and investor sentiment, and can be highly speculative.

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