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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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?

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

Founder Liquidity

K9 Ventures

If there is one piece of advice I would give to the founders of BST, it is to consider selling a part of their personal stock in the company at that stage. If things go well, and your company succeeds beyond your wildest dreams, it will end up being the most expensive house ever (because you could have held your stock and made a lot more on it). 3) Setting a precedent for the price of the Common Stock : This is the biggest issue with founder liquidity.

Founder Liquidity

K9 Ventures

If there is one piece of advice I would give to the founders of BST, it is to consider selling a part of their personal stock in the company at that stage. If things go well, and your company succeeds beyond your wildest dreams, it will end up being the most expensive house ever (because you could have held your stock and made a lot more on it). 3) Setting a precedent for the price of the Common Stock : This is the biggest issue with founder liquidity.

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.

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.

Bird E-Scooter Founder is Already Selling Shares Worth 'Tens of Millions' of Dollars

Inc Startups

In an odd move for a one-year-old unicorn company, Travis VanderZanden reportedly sold some of his founders preferred stock to make room for more investors.

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 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).

What happens when a company is acquired for less money than it raised in funding?

Gust

In some other cases, all Preferred investors are treated pari passeux , so steps 5/6 and 7/8 below would be combined into one.). 5) Senior Preferred Stock and warrants. 6) Any preference multiple on (5). 7) Junior Preferred Stock and warrants.

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.

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.

Management Carve Out Plans

ithacaVC

This typically results when the company has raised a lot of money and the preferred stock liquidation preference would absorb an out sized portion of the exit proceeds. I have posted a few times on management carve out plans (back in February 2011 and November 2011 ; wow, time flies!!). Our portfolio companies routinely adopt carve out plans when the founders/employees equity values are not likely to provide enough incentive to get a company to an exit.

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

Understanding Liquidation Preferences

VC Deal Lawyer

A liquidation preference is exactly what it sounds like, priority treatment for certain stockholders upon the liquidation, sale, merger, IPO or dissolution of a company. It is a typical Series Preferred Stock right in venture financing transactions. The current financing market, as well as the structure of your prior Series Preferred rounds, will drive the type of liquidation preference you can negotiate for yourself. Liquidation Preference Per Share. . .

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 ?

Learning all about Convertible Note Seed Financing

Business Plan Blog

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.” In layman’s terms, investors will give money to a startup but instead of getting money back, they get preferred stock in return. ii) why are convertible notes issued instead of shares of common or preferred stock?

8 Ways To Nurture New Venture Stock Into A Goldmine

Startup Professionals Musings

I’ll never forget that great sense of excitement I felt when I incorporated my first business, and realized that I was now the proud owner of 10 million shares of common stock. Unfortunately, in my years since as a small business advisor, I have seen too many founders squander this asset through a lack of understanding of some basic legal and operational issues, or by handing out nominally “free” stock to the wrong people at the wrong time.

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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.

Price-based antidilution protection

VC Ready Blog

Price-based antidilution protection of some sort is a characteristic of most preferred stock and operates by increasing the number of shares of common stock into which a share of preferred stock converts (i.e. Weighted average antidilution reduces the conversion price of outstanding preferred stock in a proportionate manner taking into account both the number of shares being issued and the price per share.

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.

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

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.

Price-based antidilution protection

VC Ready Blog

Price-based antidilution protection of some sort is a characteristic of most preferred stock and operates by increasing the number of shares of common stock into which a share of preferred stock converts (i.e. Weighted average antidilution reduces the conversion price of outstanding preferred stock in a proportionate manner taking into account both the number of shares being issued and the price per share.

Price-based antidilution protection

VC Ready Blog

Price-based antidilution protection of some sort is a characteristic of most preferred stock and operates by increasing the number of shares of common stock into which a share of preferred stock converts (i.e. Weighted average antidilution reduces the conversion price of outstanding preferred stock in a proportionate manner taking into account both the number of shares being issued and the price per share.

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.

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.

The Convertible Note Discount Price Cap

The Startup Lawyer

For this article, let’s assume this equity is the Series A Preferred Stock purchased by a venture capital fund. compensate the angel for the early risk), the convertible promissory note will have an automatic conversion discount feature by which the angel investor will exchange the convertible debt for shares of the Series A Preferred Stock at a discount to the price per share paid by the venture capital fund at a Qualified Financing.

Why Uber is The Revenge of the Founders

Steve Blank

To turn your company’s stock into cash, you engaged a top-notch investment bank (Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs) and/or their Silicon Valley compatriots (Hambrecht & Quist, Montgomery Securities, Robertson Stephens). None of this was law, and nothing in writing required this; this was just how these firms did business to protect their large institutional customers who would buy the stock. Founders can now outvote the preferred stock holders (the investors).

An Evolved View Of The Participating Preferred

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

That's the case with the issue of the participating preferred. Yesterday, I came upon this tweet by  Vijaya Sagar Vinnakota :   So I clicked thru to the first link and found a post I had written about participating preferred in 2004.

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.

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 271

Ask the VC Bonus Material

Feld Thoughts

Series A Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement. When Jason and I set out to write Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist , we both agreed that we wanted to try to create as useful and durable a reference guide for entrepreneurs interested in raising a round of venture capital as we could. As a result, we created a Resources page on Ask the VC and decided to load it up with legal documents that are part of a venture capital financing.

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.