25 Startup Financing Terms for Founders

25 Startup Financing Terms for Founders

25 Startup Financing Terms for Founders



Startup financing terms are the key elements that define the financial aspects of a startup. As a founder, understanding these terms is crucial as it will help you make informed decisions when seeking funding for your business.

Seed Funding

Seed funding refers to the initial capital raised by a startup to develop its product or service. It is typically provided by angel investors, friends, and family, and is used to cover the costs of market research, product development, and initial operations.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are high net worth individuals who invest their personal funds in startups in exchange for equity or convertible debt. They often provide mentorship and guidance in addition to capital.

Convertible Debt

Convertible debt is a type of financing where an investor loans money to a startup with the option to convert the debt into equity at a later date, typically during a future funding round.

Venture Capital

Venture capital is institutional or corporate investment in startups that have high potential for growth and returns. It usually comes from venture capital firms, which provide early-stage companies with larger amounts of capital compared to angel investors.

Series A, B, C Funding

Series A, B, and C funding refer to successive rounds of financing received by a startup as it grows. Each round usually involves larger amounts of capital and is typically led by venture capital firms.

Equity Financing

Equity financing is the process of raising funds by selling shares in a company. It can be done through private equity, venture capital, or an initial public offering (IPO).

Debt Financing

Debt financing is the process of borrowing money from lenders such as banks and financial institutions. This type of financing typically involves interest payments and requires collateral.


Bootstrapping is a method of self-funding where a startup uses its own resources to cover initial costs and sustain operations. This allows founders to maintain control over their company but can limit growth potential.

Pre-money and Post-money Valuation

Pre-money valuation is the estimated value of a startup before receiving funding, while post-money valuation is the value after new investments have been made. The difference between the two determines how much equity investors receive for their investment.


Dilution occurs when a startup issues new shares, thereby reducing the ownership percentage of existing shareholders. It is common in later funding rounds where more investors are involved.


Vesting refers to the process of earning equity over time. This incentivizes founders and employees to stay with the company and work towards its success.


Accelerators are programs that provide mentorship, resources, and funding to startups in exchange for equity. They usually run for a fixed period of time and culminate in a demo day where startups pitch to investors.


Incubators are similar to accelerators but focus more on nurturing early-stage startups through mentorship, workspace, and access to resources. They typically do not take equity in exchange for their services.


The runway is the estimated length of time a startup can operate with its current funds before running out of money. It is an important consideration when seeking funding as it determines how much capital is needed and when new funding must be secured.

Burn Rate

Burn rate refers to the rate at which a startup spends its capital. It is important to manage burn rate to ensure that the startup has enough funds to sustain operations until it becomes profitable or secures additional funding.

Cash Flow

Cash flow is the amount of money coming in and going out of a business. It is crucial for startups to maintain positive cash flow, as it allows them to cover operational costs and continue to grow.

Pitch Deck

A pitch deck is a presentation used by startups to pitch their business to potential investors. It usually includes information about the startup’s product or service, market opportunity, team, financials, and future plans.

Term Sheet

A term sheet is a non-binding agreement outlining the terms and conditions of a potential investment in a startup. It includes details such as valuation, equity offered, investor rights, and any conditions or contingencies.

Due Diligence

Due diligence is the process of thoroughly researching and evaluating a potential investment opportunity. Investors conduct due diligence to assess the risks and potential returns associated with an investment in a startup.

Liquidation Preference

Liquidation preference is a clause in a term sheet that specifies the order in which investors will be paid back in the event of a liquidation or sale of the company. This is an important consideration for investors as it determines their potential return on investment.


Anti-dilution is a provision that protects early investors from dilution in future funding rounds. It typically gives them the right to receive additional equity or compensation if the company issues new shares at a lower price than the original investment.

Exit Strategy

An exit strategy is a plan for how investors will eventually realize their returns on investment, whether through an IPO, acquisition, or other methods. It is important for startups to have a clear exit strategy in place to attract investors and maximize potential returns.




In conclusion, understanding the different sources of funding and financing options available to startups is crucial for their success. Whether through angel investors, convertible debt, venture capital, or other methods, raising capital is necessary to fuel growth and achieve a successful exit.

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