Learning Startup Investor Speak

Quick, do you know what the following mean in the context of investors and startups?

  • Pre-money valuation
  • Post-money valuation
  • Vesting schedule
  • Cliffs
  • Convertible debt
  • Preferred shares
  • Participating preferred
  • Non-participating preferred
  • Profitability vs cash flow breakeven
  • Seed round
  • Series A, B, C, etc round
  • Cash on cash expectations
  • Burn rate/runway

Needless to say there is a good bit of jargon in the startup investor world. As an entrepreneur contemplating raising money, or committed to raising money, my recommendation is to spend time learning the jargon by reading the Venture Hacks archives as well as Mark Susters’ blog posts.

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