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Taking Equity

Brandon Beacher

As an index investor, I was fascinated when Y Combinator launched their innovative style of startup investing.

Y Combinator spreads their portfolio over a large number of startups, similar to the way an index fund spreads its portfolio over a large number of holdings.

Furthermore, with smaller funding amounts at risk, Y Combinator can provide guidance with a light touch from afar without micro-managing. Similarly, index investors do not concern themselves with the minute details of the companies held in an index fund.

At Highgroove, our customers are often early stage startups, who sometimes offer us an opportunity to take equity. Like an index fund, we can diversify amongst this pool of customers, while keeping the investment amounts small to avoid needing to materially participate in any customer’s core business. (We prefer to stay focused on our core business – software development!)

Many software developers working for a consultancy might be wondering if they are missing out by not taking equity at a startup.

When Highroove takes equity in a early stage startup customer, that equity is shared amongst the Highgroove employees. The result is that our employees own a diversified portfolio of equity in many early stage startups!

What do you think are the pros and cons of this setup? Does your consultancy offer this or a similar program?

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