Product Release Timeline

At Orchestra, we continuously invest in our product experience by adding new features and enhancements, many of them based on feedback from our customers and their investors, with a release cycle happening roughly every two weeks. Here’s a summary of the key features we have released since launch.

For more details on smaller enhancements or changes, get in touch at info@orchestra.io

2024 Product Releases

April 2024

Making it even easier to lapse shares on employee departure
We’ve redesigned the lapsing feature within our ESOP module to make it even more intuitive for you to manage any lapsing requirements when an employee leaves the business. You’ll also notice that you have the option within the module to add their personal email (rather than their company) so that they can manage any of their share option requirements once they have left. Read more about what to do if an employee leaves your company here.

Standardised formatting of bank details for dividends
To make it easier for your administration team that handles dividend payments, we have standardised the formatting of this field, which flows through to the CSV export for batch payments. You can select the country the shareholder is based in, and the field will automatically change to either New Zealand or custom bank account formatting. 

Add notes to shareholder dividend statements
You can now include a custom message to be displayed on your dividend statements. You can preview how it looks by downloading a draft shareholder statement from the review screen. 

Excluding shares held as treasury stock from dividends
If you’re a company that pays a dividend to shareholders regularly, you’ll be pleased to see that very soon, you can exclude any treasury stock from a dividend distribution. Read more about how to calculate a dividend here.

March 2024

Introducing aliases for shareholder records
Often, shares held in a trust, SMSF, or nominee structure may be formatted in a way specified by regulation rather than by the named shareholder. These formalities can make it hard to quickly recognise the beneficiary on the share register, which is why we have added an ‘alias’ column to the share register so you have the opportunity to edit the entity and enter an alias name to be displayed in your company’s share register. It’s easy to do; read this article to find out how.

January 2024

Optimising stakeholder communications
Our customers have shared with us how much they appreciate the communications feature in Orchestra. We have recently made some useful enhancements to this feature, with more improvements in the works. We hope these enhancements will make it even more valuable for you to keep your stakeholders informed about your company's progress.

Adding files to your communications: You can now select individual files across multiple folders (with the same audience group) in your Document Vault when attaching documents to communications you send from Orchestra. We will be working on upgrading the upload experience next, so keep an eye out for changes to this soon, too! 

Ability to export: Your team can now export a list of recipients who have viewed, opened or not engaged with the communications you send. 

Preview email: For your ease, we have added a ‘preview’ button within the actions bar at the bottom of your draft communication, which helps you to easily view the quality and structure of the email before it is sent. 

Check out this article for more information on how to get the most out of this feature.

2023 Product Releases

December 2023

Change records in your ASIC dashboard
For Australian ASIC agents, we have now made it even easier to keep up-to-date on any changes made to client files within your dashboard so you can see what has changed and needs updating at ASIC. We have added a ‘changes’ area within the dashboard, which shows the previous record, the updated record and the change date. This applies to fields such as changes to the company name, address, or any appointments or resignations.

To find out more, check out this knowledge-base article.

More flexibility to manage exercise requests during key milestones
To give you greater ease when managing ESOP plans, you can now control when ESOP participants can request to exercise shares and when they cannot. This may be due to a significant event, company valuation, or simply based on your plan rules. Simply use a toggle to turn this on or off across one or all of your ESOP participants.

To find out more, check out this knowledge-base article.

November 2023

New share transaction type: “Reclassification”
You can now easily reclassify shares from one class to another in Orchestra with a dedicated transaction type (in addition to share issues or transfers). The reclassification of shares may be needed when a company needs to adjust the rights of different shareholders, which differs from a share issue or transfer.

See this article on how to change the class of shares held by a shareholder.

Supporting nominee structures with dividend statement distributions
Since we launched our automated dividend calculation and distribution feature in June this year, we’ve enhanced this feature to ensure that all dividend calculations and statements are issued for every shareholder - including those within holding or nominee entities. That means any company with shareholders through a nominee company has assurance that dividend calculations will be automated, and shareholders within each nominee receive their statement.

Automated Dividend Withholding Tax (DWT) filing with the IRD
After a dividend is calculated, paid and distributed, a company must pay and file dividend withholding tax (DWT) to Inland Revenue. To make this as seamless as possible, Orchestra now provides a bulk upload file that is able to be transferred to Inland Revenue.

See this article on how to file DWT with the IRD through Orchestra.

September 2023

Data enrich your share transaction history
To make validating historical transactions in your share register easier, we have made it possible for anyone with ‘administrator’ permissions to edit a share transaction, including funding rounds, share price, notes and documents.  

You can add key supporting documents (such as subscription agreements for new shareholders and signed share transfer forms) to share transactions to authenticate your transaction history. Make future auditing a breeze.

See this article on how to edit share transactions.

Enhanced access allows you to edit more shareholders
When shareholders sign up to Orchestra, they inherit edit access to their personal shareholder email address and residential address. Feedback received from company administrators expressed a desire to assist shareholders and make updates on their behalf.

Company administrators can now update registered and unregistered shareholders' email addresses and addresses, where the shareholder is exclusively found in their company’s share register. This update will allow administrators to support their shareholders better.

See this article on how to edit shareholder details.

Your company logo on ‘Shareholders as PDF’ report
A few companies in our community would like to personalise their shareholder PDF exports when filing annual returns. We have added your company’s logo to the top of the ‘Shareholders as PDF’ report.

If you haven’t added your logo to your company profile, we recommend doing this so that your reports and communications are branded for your company.

See this article on how to add your company logo.

July 2023

Dynamic cap table overview with ESOP dilution
We’ve enhanced your Orchestra dashboard to show your company ownership overview, equity distribution and key actions you can do on Orchestra to engage your stakeholders. If you have an Employee Share Option Plan (ESOP) you can also model dilution under different scenarios: Filters will show you what your diluted cap table looks like with either vested options only, granted options or the whole ESOP pool. You also have the ability to download your cap table to Excel so you can share it or model future raises.

Head over to your dashboard to see how it works.

June 2023

Notification emails personalised with your company logo
Orchestra sends a range of notification emails to keep your stakeholders updated, such as ESOP vesting alerts. All system-generated emails, including ESOP offer letters, are now branded with your company’s logo. This takes employee engagement even further and strengthens their connection to your company. If you need to update your company’s banner logo, you can do this under ‘Administration > Company details > Banner logo’

April 2023

Preset vesting templates for ESOP
We are excited to share that vesting templates for ESOP grants are now available. To help you save time when administering ESOP, we have created vesting schedule templates for your grants. Simply select the type of vesting schedule you would like to use, enter the details and save your template. You can then select the template you wish to use when offering grant options to an employee.

Drag and drop folders to the Document Vault
For those of you who have multiple documents to store in your Document Vault, you can now drag and drop these into folders straight from your device, making it a much smoother experience when governing how your company operates. Simply click on the document you would like to move and drag it over to the folder you would like to save it in.

March 2023

Search shareholders by 'alias'
For businesses with a sizeable number of shareholders, we have made it even easier for you to search and filter through your shareholders using the ‘alias’ field rather than their name. You’ll find it helpful for locating your trust shareholders by their trust name where it has been entered as an alias.

February 2023

Create an investor data room for deals in Orchestra
If you’re planning to raise capital soon, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve recently introduced a new audience type ‘potential investors’ in Orchestra. You can create a specific folder as a data room, and give access to this audience where they can access secure and privileged data specifically related to the deal (please note that all associates are charged at a stakeholder rate while they have access).

Handy tip:
Be sure to add in an ‘Info tile’ welcoming them onto Orchestra and directing them to the right place.

Post a message or update on a users dashboard using Info Tiles
Info tiles are a great way to share important updates on the Orchestra dashboard to stakeholder groups, without the need to email them individually. We have recently enhanced this feature to allow Administrators to share an Info Tile with different audience types (Shareholders, Option Holders, Associates or custom groups or individuals) so that they can see these important messages from you on their dashboard when they next login.

2022 Product Releases

December 2022

New audience groups
Due to popular demand, our team has extended ‘audience groups’ to better help you streamline communication and access to documents quickly and effectively. Audience groups allow you to control access to folders, documents, and communications. There are three new audience groups, in addition to “Administrators only” and “Investors & Administrators”, including:

  • The “Optionholders group” will publish the content in the dashboards of everyone who has an employee share scheme grant in the company.
  • The “Associates group” will publish the content in the dashboards of everyone who is recorded as an Associate in the company.
  • The “Shareholders group” will publish the content in the dashboards of everyone who is a shareholder in the company.

October 2022

Personalise your investor communications
We have recently enhanced our communications feature where you can now send communications that look like it’s coming directly from your business. You can do this by including your business logo, an editable ‘Reply to’ and ‘From’ and a custom message in the email notification.

September 2022

Valuation vault & making share prices visible for stakeholders
The Valuation vault section is where Admins can add company valuation information including share prices, and also store valuation reports. Admins can choose to give visibility of the share prices to stakeholders and they will see an estimated value of their holdings based on the latest price.

Lapsing ESOP options and returning them to the pool
Introduced a lapsed status to cover employee departure scenarios and returning options to your ESOP pool.

August 2022

Associates accessing their statement of holdings
Associates with a single investment can download a statement of holding from their investor dashboard.

July 2022

Analytics for Communications
Admins can see the view rates for each communication sent, and access a dashboard showing the total number of stakeholders the comms was sent to, the number who have viewed it, and the overall 'View rate'.


June 2022

Option holders can request to exercise options
Option holders can notify company Admins from Orchestra if they would like to exercise some or all of their vested options. When option holders click the 'Exercise options' button from their account, an email will be sent to the Admin with a summary of the options the employee would like to exercise.

Company logos included in Statement of Holdings
Company logos have been added to Statement of Holdings so when investors generate and download these from Orchestra, your company logo will be included at the top of the summary.

April 2022

Company Directors sync with the NZ Companies Office
Admins can add, update, or remove company director details for New Zealand entities on Orchestra, and these changes will sync to the NZ Companies Office. For Australian companies, if you have authorised Orchestra to be your ASIC agent, then we will update any Director and Company Secretary details for you.

Re-invite shareholders to view their holdings
When a shareholder remains unregistered on Orchestra, admins can click the email icon next to their details and re-invite them to log-on.

February 2022

New billing system
Our new Orchestra billing system gives admins more visibility of Orchestra subscriptions, invoices and payments across your different entities.

January 2022

Halting vesting schedules
Admins now have more flexibility to stop vesting schedules. In the Settings on the ESOP page, they can halt vesting for a single grant, for all grants in the pool, or for all grants in the company.

Share cancels showing as a negative amount
Negative values have now been assigned to any cancelled transactions on CSV downloads to make it easier to calculate and reconcile the shares on issue in companies.

2021 Product Releases

December 2021

Shortcut to create folders for individual stakeholders
A Stakeholder folder tab has been added as a quick way to create a document folder for an individual stakeholder when you want to share documents just with them.

Save dividend distributions as drafts and delete
Admins now have the ability to save dividend distributions as drafts and to delete them. This allows you to test distributions and then remove them if required.

Limited Partnership terminology
The language for Limited Partnerships (LPs) has been updated on Orchestra to align with the common terminology used for these entities.

November 2021

ESOP Grant Wizard
A new ESOP grant letter creation tool which streamlines the grant letter process for company administrators and includes e-signing for each participant.

Investment overview dashboard update
The investment overview dashboard has been updated to include associates and option details. It displays separate sub-menus if the investor has both investment shares and options.

October 2021

Communications
Admins can now delete communications that have yet to be published. The deleted communications will be removed from the communication list.

Folder Permissions
When companies are creating a folder, the default permission has been set to “Administrators”. This prevents the accidental sharing of confidential company documents with investors.

Update to document e-signing
An email notification is now sent to the Admin when the document has been completed and signed by all parties (this is in addition to the pen icon turning green next to the document in Orchestra).

September 2021

Update to Folders
Replaced "collections" with a streamlined process for the creation of document folders, including functionality to create folders for individual stakeholders.

Audience Groups
Access to folders, documents or communications is now controlled by Administrators through the Audience Groups feature.

Investment overview dashboard for stakeholders
A new Investment overview has been added to the dashboard for stakeholders.

August 2021

Email notification
Shareholders will now receive a notification via email on all transactions which they are involved in.

July 2021

Document e-signing
Phase 1 of our partnership with DocuSign, that allows relevant documents (up to 5 signatures) to be signed within the Orchestra platform.

June 2021

Statement of holding view
Statement of holdings are now available for company administrations to view via the shareholder list.

May 2021

Document Vault enhancements
Create folders within folders for improved document storage.

Stakeholder Overview Page
See all shareholdings, associate details, ESOP and options for a stakeholder in one view.

April 2021

Investor View-Only Access
Grant 'View Only' rights to your key investors so they can see an entity's full share register.

ESOP Enhancements
Forecasting graphs to help you visualise past and future events for different grants, along with the ability to download the option grant history and forecast, bulk import existing option grants, and apply vesting schedules historically.

Associates
SAFE (Simple Arrangement for Future Equity) added as an Associate field.

March 2021

Associate Shareholder Tools
If you have investors who hold Convertible Notes, SAFEs, Shareholder Loans or other Hybrid Equity positions you can document these shareholdings.

Dividend Payment Module
Use this tool to easily capture required shareholder information, calculate dividend payments, and report on payouts.

February 2021

Employee Share Trusts (also know as 'Loan to Purchase') & Phantom Shares
Now supported as part of the Employee Share Ownership module.

Easier access to Communications Messages
All investors can now access messages you send them, even before they have completed creating their Orchestra account.

Additional users for investment parcels
A new user interface to more easily add and manage users that can access and view an investment entity.

New Directors and Company Secretary Registers
Record your key Director and Company Secretary details if you wish to create a separate register for these (e.g, for Australian companies).

2020 Product Releases

December 2020

Employee Share Schemes & Options
A comprehensive module to manage different types of Employee Share Schemes including ESOP, Share Trusts and Phantom Shares.

Stakeholder Info Tiles
Add information to the dashboard which investors will view when they log into Orchestra. This could include contact info, share price info or distribution information.

November 2020

Custom Fields
Request and save any information you require from your investors; ie. bank accounts, tax numbers, additional emails.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
We've introduced Multi-Factor Authentication via text for secure and verified sign-in.Transaction record filteringExtended support for exporting filtered transaction data.

October 2020

Stakeholder Communications
See which of your stakeholders have signed up to Orchestra. (All stakeholders will receive messages you send, even if they have not joined up to the platform yet).

You can now add images to your communications, and also documents that are saved in your document vault.

General enhancements
- Upload and save supporting documents to any share transaction.
- Export your transaction history as a CSV file.
- Multiple user accounts can now be added to a share parcel if required.
- Draft mode now available to allow companies to be edited without updating the Companies Office or investors.
- Admin tools for uploading bulk historical data.

Secondary trading
Orchestra now offers access to a platform that allows private companies to run trading events where investors can participate in buying and selling their shares, creating liquidity for your shareholders.

September 2020

NZ Annual Return filing
Complete your NZ Companies Office Annual Return using Orchestra.

Continuity Reporting
Download a basic shareholder continuity report highlighting changes to shareholdings on a year to year basis.

Direct Parties support
Load up multiple parties as owners of a share parcel. This means you can upload user and address details for all trust, partnership and joint holding entities.

August 2020

Share Register Reporting
You may need a share register report that you can easily download as a hard copy of your data. We have created a clean report you can add your company branding to for this purpose.

Associate shareholders
For investors who hold instruments such as Convertible Notes or Shareholder Loans you can document these equity positions as well as give these investors access to the investor portal for your business.

Entity Updating
As well as updating your shareholdings you can also now update your Company Details, add a company alias and logo for Orchestra.

Optimising stakeholder communications
Our customers have shared with us how much they appreciate the communications feature in Orchestra. We have recently made some useful enhancements to this feature, with more improvements in the works. We hope these enhancements will make it even more valuable for you to keep your stakeholders informed about your company's progress.

Adding files to your communications: You can now select individual files across multiple folders (with the same audience group) in your Document Vault when attaching documents to communications you send from Orchestra. We will be working on upgrading the upload experience next, so keep an eye out for changes to this soon, too! 

Ability to export: Your team can now export a list of recipients who have viewed, opened or not engaged with the communications you send. 

Preview email: For your ease, we have added a ‘preview’ button within the actions bar at the bottom of your draft communication, which helps you to easily view the quality and structure of the email before it is sent. 

Check out this article for more information on how to get the most out of this feature.