Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2014

Steven Carpenter at Cake Financial (Abridged)

by Thomas R. Eisenmann, Joseph B. Fuller and Shikhar Ghosh

Abstract

Steven Carpenter reflects on the successes and failures of his recent venture, Cake Financial. Carpenter had just sold the four-year-old startup and was at work on a new business plan. But first, he wanted to understand why Cake Financial, a service that allowed users to access their brokerage accounts on one platform and also see how other users were investing, had not been widely adopted by customers despite positive receptions from technology and financial observers. The startup had also received financial support from prominent angel investors. Carpenter asked himself what he should have done differently with the technology supporting the platform, and how Cake should have better targeted customers and responded to their unique needs. He also wondered whether he had made the right decisions about when, and from whom, to seek funding at various stages of the company's growth.

Keywords: Corporate Entrepreneurship; Business or Company Management; Business Model; Growth and Development Strategy; Business Strategy; Internet; Financial Services Industry; Web Services Industry;

Citation:

Eisenmann, Thomas R., Joseph B. Fuller, and Shikhar Ghosh. "Steven Carpenter at Cake Financial (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 814-054, January 2014.