Private equity management platform Capdesk has raised £1.5 million to expand its team and develop its technology.

The FinTech, which has bases in London and Copenhagen, was created as a response to a new trend of fast-growing companies staying private, and increasingly using employee shares to compensate staff.

The company received £1m backing from London-based VC fund Fuel Ventures.

Christian Gabriel and Casper Arboll came up with their business idea after years of working in alternative finance, and discovered a gap in the market for a platform to digitise and offer liquidity for the billions of pounds’ worth of employee shares in unlisted European companies.

Since its launch in 2015, the company has expanded into the UK and opened a second office in London, attracting thousands of users in the UK and abroad, including Nutmeg, Secret Escapes and MarketInvoice.

Capdesk plans to use the funds from Fuel Ventures, along with a further £500,000 investment, to expand its sales and technology teams and continue to develop its innovative software.

“Private companies are not equipped to handle employee share plans with hundreds of participants - the administrative burden is simply enormous,” said Christian Gabriel, CEO of Capdesk.

“More importantly however, these employee shares are worthless without a liquid market.

“Capdesk helps companies manage option plans and liquidity events, saving time, money and hassle by compiling all the necessary data on one easy-to-use platform.

“We are on a mission to democratise wealth in private companies by empowering companies to share ownership with employees.

“We’re very pleased to have the backing of Fuel Ventures and we look forward to expanding our team and further developing our software to add even more value for our customers.”

Mark Pearson, founder of Fuel Ventures, added: “This £20 million fund is our biggest to date and enables us to invest in tens of new companies in a variety of sectors, and also demonstrates that the UK start-up scene still has a great deal to offer.

“Capdesk is a fantastic business that we’re delighted to add to our portfolio. Christian and Casper have identified a clear gap in the market and have created a solution to a problem that countless businesses face.

“We look forward to seeing them expand their team and further develop their innovative software in the coming months.”