In late 2013, startup accelerator Y Combinator unveiled its Simple Agreement for Future Equity (“SAFE”) investment instrument as an alternative to convertible debt. While SAFE templates surfaced in different varieties, the purported goal was to create a standardized set of basic funding terms between startups and investors while deferring decisions about valuation, liquidation preferences and participation rights until later-stage rounds of financing. In mid-2014, another accelerator, 500 Startups, introduced a competing document, dubbed the Keep It Simple Security (“KISS”). Although investors were initially nervous about accepting either of the new investment forms, these alternatives to conventional notes (“note-alternatives”) have become an increasingly popular tool for investing in early stage companies.
Continue Reading SAFEs and KISSes Poised to Be the Next Generation of Startup Financing