Startup Financing: Overview of Preferred Stock

Early Growth Financial Services

Today, we’re tackling participating versus non-participating preferred stock, a fundamental economic term in VC deals that goes to the heart of the business agreement between investors and management in connection with a sale of the company. This post by Ian Engstrand first appeared on Founders Workbench. From time to time on Founders Workbench we give a brief primer on common terms and issues in venture financings.

7 Investor Term Sheet Demands Startups Need Not Fear

Startup Professionals Musings

For later investments, the price is equity, with a percentage of the owner stock to be assigned to the investor. Type of stock assigned to the investor. Investors typically demand preferred stock, to give themselves certain voting and liquidation privileges over later shareholders.

Trending Sources

Common Stock vs. Preferred Stock in Venture Funding Transactions

Growthink Blog

The question is whether they need to issue common or preferred stock. The answer depends on how and what rights are defined in the preferred stock. This is an extremely valuable preference that can best be shown by example.

Conventional Convertible Preferred vs Participating Preferred Stock

Recent Buzzes - VC Experts, Inc.

What is the difference between Conventional Convertible Preferred (non-Participating Preferred) and Participating Preferred Stock ? How do these effect the outcome for investors when a non-IPO exit is about to happen? See for yourself in these simple examples

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Convertible Note Seed Financings (But Were Afraid To Ask) – Part 1

Scott Edward Walker

ii) why are convertible notes issued instead of shares of common or preferred stock? In the context of a seed financing, the debt typically automatically converts into shares of preferred stock upon the closing of a Series A round of financing.

Avoid Offensive Liquidation Preferences

The Startup Lawyer

In most equity financing rounds, an investor will ask for (and get) a term called a liquidation preference. A liquidation preference is the amount that must be paid to a preferred stock holder before any sale proceeds may be paid to the holders of common stock (i.e., The amount of the liquidation preference is usually expressed as a multiple, with the most common liquidation preference being “1X non-participating.” Preferred Stock

Bitesize Weekend – quick reads

VC Cafe

Some of the posts that got my attention this week… 5 Ways To Raise Funds for Your Startup – Mashable brings a good reminder on the ways to raise funding: friends/family/fools, incubators, convertible debt, preferred stock and VC.

Is convertible debt with a price cap really the best financing structure?

Startup Company Lawyer

Convertible debt with a price cap seems to be the preferred structure for early-stage financings. A logical alternative to convertible debt is a priced Series A preferred stock financing. Mark Suster does a good job analyzing whether convertible debt is preferable to equity , and concludes that convertible debt is better. Convertible debt with a price cap preserves the investor’s “equity&# ownership, but gives the investor extra liquidation preference.

Raising Capital? 3 Tips for Entrepreneurs – Part 2

Scott Edward Walker

Finally, unless the startup is raising at least approximately $750,000, it generally is not in the company’s interest to issue shares of preferred stock. What about issuing shares of common stock?

Convertible Debt – Early Versus Late Stage Dynamics

Ask The VC

In these cases, one saw terms like liquidations preferences and in some cases changes to board and / or voting control come into play. Given the traditional complexity and cost of legal fees associated with preferred stock financings, however, convertible debt became a common way to make seed stage investments as it tended to be simpler and less expensive from a legal perspective. Once again we continue our series on convertible debt deals.

These 8 Disciplines Define A Fundable Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

A C-corporation is more complex and expensive, and is recommended only if you expect to pitch to professional investors who demand preferred stock, or to more than 100 potential shareholders. Aspiring entrepreneurs often ask me what to do first when starting a business.

Convertible Debt – Other Terms

Ask The VC

Liquidation Preferences : Every now and then you’ll see a liquidation preference in a convertible debt deal. It works the same as it does in a preferred stock deal – the investors get their money back first, or a multiple of their money back first, before any proceeds are distributed to anyone else. Convertible Debt convertible debt interest rate liquidation preferences pro-rata rights

Convertible Debt – Warrants

Ask The VC

There are numerous different ways to calculate this, such as: $20,000 worth of common stock at the last value ascribed to either the common or preferred stock; $20,000 worth of the last round of preferred stock at that’s rounds price of the stock; or. 20,000 worth of the next round of preferred stock at whatever price that happens to be.

What is convertible equity (or a convertible security)?

Startup Company Lawyer

Other folks, such as Mark Suster, have also written about whether convertible debt is preferable to equity. Fred Wilson has been openly critical of convertible debt , and prefers priced equity rounds. Manu Kumar has also indicated that he prefers priced equity rounds to convertible debt. ” As a result, Ted introduced the Series Seed preferred stock documents as an alternative to convertible debt for early stage investments.

8 Ways To Maximize The Value Of Your Startup Stock

Startup Professionals Musings

When an entrepreneur first incorporates his or her business, he or she may find him or herself the proud owner of 10 million shares of common stock, commonly called founder’s shares. Make sure the government waits for a stock sale to collect taxes. This is called stock dilution control.

Stock 81

Knowledge Is Power: Convertible Note Financing Terms, Part I

Gust

For a traditional VC financing round structured as a sale of preferred stock, the best resources I can recommend are the Term Sheet Series by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson and Startup Company Lawyer by Yokum Taku. A term sheet for a convertible note deal may run two or three pages, versus 8-10 pages for a typical Series A Preferred Stock financing. (I’ve

4 Things Every Founder Should Know About Convertible Equity

Early Growth Financial Services

In short, convertible equity is a form of financing that gives investors the right to preferred stock once a triggering event occurs. Lately I‘ve been getting more and more questions about convertible equity: “What is it?” and “Should I use it?” So I figured now’s the right time to answer a few questions and fill in some blanks. So what’s that mean? First some background… Convertible debt Convertible debt is a common feature of startup seed rounds, used in more than ?

How to Divide Founder Equity: 4 Criteria to Discuss

View from Seed

Additionally, you should put whatever agreement you reach to paper , even if you have not yet incorporated or had your legal counsel draw up the founder stock paperwork. You can then work with your law firm to formally draw up founder common stock paperwork either then or subsequently.

Equity 108

New Survey from Fenwick & West Looks at Angel Funding Landscape

ReadWriteStart

The majority of financings was structured as preferred stock (69%), as opposed to convertible note financings (31%), and the vast majority of those (83%) had their conversion price capped. The median amount raised in preferred stock financings was $1.1

Venture Capital Term Sheets – Redemption Rights

Scott Edward Walker

Here are the issues I have addressed to date: common mistakes dealing with VC’s valuation liquidation preferences stock options exploding term sheets and no-shop provisions anti-dilution provisions dividends Board control protective provisions drag-along provisions pay-to-play and pull-up provisions conversion rights In today’s post, I examine the redemption rights of investors.

Model Cap Table

ithacaVC

The model includes a simple waterfall analysis using both participating and non-participating preferred (see line 44 and then columns M and O). The larger the preferred stock liquidation preference the larger the impact of participating preferred. Columns I and J are important as they show the % of preferred stock ownership compared only to preferred stock outstanding.

Knowledge Is Power: Convertible Note Financing Terms, Part II

Gust

Mandatory Conversion : The Notes and any accrued interest will be converted into the Company’s next issued series of preferred stock resulting in new money of not less than $1,000,000 (an “ Eligible Financing ”) at a discount to the per-share price of such preferred shares of 25% (the “ Conversion Price ” ). per share for 2,000,000 shares of newly issued Series A Preferred Stock.

8 Questions To Help Set Expectations With Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

Most professional investors will expect preferred stock, a board seat, rights to later rounds and perhaps anti-dilution protection. One of the big questions that every entrepreneur struggles with is how much funding they should request from investors in the first round.

Avoid New Venture Shortcuts That Scare Away Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

Experienced entrepreneurs understand investor expectations of Board representation, preferred stock, and payments based on interim milestones.

Series Seed Documents for Early Stage Startups – V2

VC Cafe

Fred Wilson , Paul Graham and Seth Levine all agree that as an entrepreneur one would prefer uncapped convertible debt to equity, but investors typically won’t go for it. Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement Series Seed Form SPA. B ack in March, Andreessen Horowitz and Fenwick & West, LLP published a series of documents that would help structure early stage investments in startups.

Model Series Seed Docs

The Startup Lawyer

The board is set up to consist of 3 directors: 1 director elected by the common (founders); 1 directors elected by the preferred (investors); 1 “independent&# director (i.e., 2) Series Seed Stock Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement. Tags: Preferred Stock documents lawyer seed funding

Model Series Seed Docs

The Startup Lawyer

The board is set up to consist of 3 directors: 1 director elected by the common (founders); 1 directors elected by the preferred (investors); 1 “independent&# director (i.e., 2) Series Seed Stock Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement. Tags: Preferred Stock documents lawyer seed funding

An Alternative to Board Decks Some Seed VCs Actually Prefer

View from Seed

You should still work with your board about what format they prefer.). Examples of housekeeping include the following list, though not every item will appear every time: Finance: Cash out date, burn rate, 409A valuation, cap table, common/preferred stock dashboard.

Punch & Pie: How Should Co-Founders Divide Equity?

Agile VC

Additionally, you should put whatever agreement you reach to paper, even if you have not yet incorporated or had your legal counsel draw up the founder stock paperwork. You can then work with your law firm to formally draw up founder common stock paperwork either then or subsequently.

Nobody Is Crying For You When You Are Worth Billions

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

When an investor like Fidelity puts tens of millions of cash into Spotify at a $3bn valuation, they are not buying publicly traded common stock that will go up and down with the value of the company. They are most likely (I don't know the terms of the Spotify deal so I am guessing) buying a Preferred Stock that gives them a liquidation preference (their money back or possibly plus some guaranteed return) in the event the company is sold at or below the valuation of their investment.

How to Pick Advisors

How to Change the World

Should we sell common or preferred stock to investors? Answer you’re looking for: “Preferred.”. Should we pay consultants with stock options? Answer you’re looking for: “No, stock options are for long-term employees, not short-term consultants.

Model Seed Funding Doc Myths

The Startup Lawyer

A variety of model startup seed funding docs have been released in the past year or so: TechStars Series AA Preferred , YCombinator Series AA Preferred , and TheFunded Founder Institute’s Plain Preferred. For example, a founder stock purchase agreement is 12+ pages long because founders can, have, and will fail and/or bail on startups (hence the vesting schedule & startup repurchase option).

Model Seed Funding Doc Myths

The Startup Lawyer

A variety of model startup seed funding docs have been released in the past year or so: TechStars Series AA Preferred , YCombinator Series AA Preferred , and TheFunded Founder Institute’s Plain Preferred. For example, a founder stock purchase agreement is 12+ pages long because founders can, have, and will fail and/or bail on startups (hence the vesting schedule & startup repurchase option).

Convertible Note Seed Financings: Founders Beware!

Scott Edward Walker

What Happens If a Startup is Acquired Prior to the Note’s Conversion to Shares of Preferred Stock? For example, let’s assume that the noteholders invested $500,000 and were granted the right to convert into shares of common stock at a $4.5

What are the terms of Yuri Milner/SV Angel’s Start Fund $150K investment into Y Combinator companies?

Startup Company Lawyer

Optional maturity conversion : into Series AA Preferred Stock based on a $5M valuation. The Series AA has a 1x non-participating liquidation preference, weighted-average anti-dilution, basic protective provisions (adverse changes to the Series AA, number of shares of Series AA, or merger/asset sale), right to maintain proportionate ownership, ROFR/Co-Sale rights and basic information rights.

Investor Nomenclature and the Venture Spiral

K9 Ventures

Common Stock. Convertible Note or Preferred Stock. Convertible Note or Preferred Stock. Preferred Stock. Preferred Stock. Preferred Stock / Warrants. The press loves the term Super Angels.

Anatomy of a Term Sheet: Conversion and Anti-dilution

VC Ready Blog

In this post we look at when an investor’s preferred stock may or must convert to common stock, and how the conversion ratio may be adjusted in certain circumstances. Preferred stock typically converts to common stock either: (a) at the option of the stockholder (“Optional Conversion”); or. (b) The company prefers that the percentage required is not so high as to make obtaining approval burdensome.

SEC Approves NASDAQ's BX Venture Market- a New Listing Option for Smaller Companies

Recent Buzzes - VC Experts, Inc.

Companies will be able to list common and preferred stock, ordinary shares and ADRs, trust and limited partnership interests, units, rights and warrants. The NASDAQ OMX Group has received approval from the SEC to launch its new listing market, the BX Venture Market.

O’Donnell: Live In The Problem

Ask The VC

Today’s runner up is Fred Wilson’s MBA Monday post on Financing Options: Preferred Stock. Our new motto over here at Ask the VC is “we read all the VC blog posts so you don’t have to.&# We’ll give you the best one of the day with a quick summary and – if there are runner ups, include them also. Of course, we are never entirely sure what day it is so these might be from yesterday, today, or even tomorrow when we are really ahead of our game.

Venture Capital Term Sheets: Conversion Rights

Scott Edward Walker

Here are the issues I have addressed to date: common mistakes dealing with VC’s valuation liquidation preferences stock options exploding term sheets and no-shop provisions anti-dilution provisions dividends Board control protective provisions drag-along provisions pay-to-play and pull-up provisions In today’s post, I examine conversion rights of investors. As many of you know, VC investors are typically issued shares of preferred stock, not common stock.