Archive for the ‘Reference’ Category

AlphaTakes – Determining the Size of the Stock Option Pool

In this AlphaTakes video, Meechie Pietruczak discusses calculating the number of shares in an emerging technology company’s option pool.

Here are the key takeaways from this video:

  1. Emerging technology companies usually create stock option pools to compensate and incentivize employees, directors, consultants and other independent contractors.
  2. The size of the option pool is typically calculated as a percentage of all capital stock, which is often in the range of 10 to 20%.
  3. The size of the option pool may have a significant impact on the price per share paid by an investor.

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AlphaTakes – Series A Preferred Stock Term Sheet (part two)

In this second of a two part AlphaTakes video series, Matt Storms discusses the second half of the Series A Preferred Stock term sheet for an emerging technology company, using the Series A term sheet published by the National Venture Capital Association.

Here are the key takeaways from this video:

  1. The three most common alternatives to anti-dilution provisions:
    • Weighted average
    • Full ratchet
    • No anti-dilution provisions
  2. Several provisions are not typically heavily negotiated in Series A financings:
    • Pay to play requirements
    • Attorneys’ Fees
    • Registration rights
    • Participation rights
    • Drag-along rights
    • No shop requirements
  3. Keep an eye on the big picture

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AlphaTakes – Series A Preferred Stock Term Sheet (part one)

In this first of a two part AlphaTakes video series, Matt Storms discusses the first half of the Series A Preferred Stock term sheet for an emerging technology company.  He provides a summary of some of the key terms of the Series A term sheet, using National Venture Capital Association (“NVCA”) model document.

Here are the key takeaways from this video:

  1. The NVCA documents are great resources for understanding the Series A financing, but are fairly investor friendly.
  2. Typical preferred stock dividend provisions alternatives include the following:
    • If and when paid to the common stock
    • Accruing and cumulative
    • If and when declared by the board
  3. Most common preferred stock liquidation preferences alternatives include the following:
    • Non-participating preferred
    • Participating preferred
    • Participating preferred with a cap
  4. Preferred stock typically includes special voting rights, such as designating one or more members to the company’s board of directors and veto rights over certain company actions.

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AlphaTakes – Incorporation Process for an Emerging Technology Company

Understanding the incorporation process is important for emerging company founders. In this AlphaTakes video, Macy Stoneback describes the incorporation process for a typical emerging technology company. She explains some reasons why it is important to properly complete the incorporation formalities:

  • Help ensure limited liability protection
  • Avoid delays and expense at the time of financing or sale in fixing matters that were not properly addressed at the time of incorporation
  • Set founder expectations

 

 

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AlphaTakes – Liquidation Preferences

In this AlphaTakes video, Matt Storms discusses the basics concerning liquidation preferences. He provides a summary of the different types of liquidation preferences that are typically negotiated in emerging technology company transactions. He also provides a spreadsheet illustration of the effects of the different types of liquidation preferences.

Here are the key takeaways from this video:

    (1) A liquidation preference is a right to all or a portion of the assets of a company upon its sale over the rights of others

    (2) The three most common types of liquidation preferences for an emerging technology company are

    (a) non-participating preferred (most common in early stage deals)

    (b) participating preferred

    (c) participating preferred with a cap

    (3) Liquidation preferences are important

 


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Announcing AlphaTakes—Videos for Emerging Technology Companies

We are excited to announce that in coming weeks, we are starting a new video series called AlphaTakes. The goal of the initiative is to provide clients and others with background on the variety of recurring issues that emerging companies face through their development, from startup to sale.  Our hope is that the videos will supplement the existing articles for emerging technology companies that is already contained on our website.

Technology Company Startups

For startups, we plan to cover topics such as the incorporation process, allocating founder shares, common mistakes of startups, and calculating the stock option pool.  We have a number of other ideas as well, based on the questions we receive from entrepreneurs.

Scaling Technology Companies

For operating companies that are scaling, we plan to have videos that go over the different types of financing structures, common mistakes of software companies, the Series A Financing term sheet, liquidation preferences, and anti-dilution provisions.  As bringing on employee talent and contracting are important for scaling companies, we also plan to touch on issues related to employees and contracts.

Emerging Companies Considering Sale

For companies considering a potential sale, we plan to cover common sale transaction structures, how to prepare for a potential company sale, letters of intent, and use of investment bankers.  We also will look at some of the commonly negotiated terms in sale transactions as well as recurring issues that arise during the sale process.

If you have any suggestions on potential topics for us to cover in AlphaTakes, let us know!

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Board and Shareholder Approvals 101 for Emerging Technology Companies

Now that you’ve incorporated your emerging company, you may be wondering, “How often do I need to hold Board and shareholder meetings?” and “What decisions do I need to bring to the Board or the shareholders?”  These are common questions, and the answers differ company by company, to some extent.  This article is written for founders of typical early stage emerging technology companies. Read the rest of this entry »

by Macy Stoneback | Permalink | No Comments