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January 22 , 2009

Venture Capital: How Not to Get Screwed


At some point, almost every founder will need to delve into the mysterious world of venture capital investment in order to raise funds for their startup. However, to an outsider, the amount of information available on how venture capital investments actually work is incredibly limited.

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Founders often go into funding rounds unaware of the various pitfalls that await them throughout the negotiation of the investment documents and may later discover that they have effectively ‘lost’ their company through poor negotiation and a lack of information. Would you get into a car having never taken a driving lesson?

All too often lawyers are only brought in following the agreement of commercial terms in order to document what has been agreed, by which time it is likely to be too late to claw-back from poorly negotiated heads of terms. The aim of this book is to protect founders during those early stages of negotiations from agreeing to onerous, or in some cases downright ludicrous, terms without understanding the surrounding legal jargon.

Often times in the thick of a deal even after you have appointed legal counsel, an overworked and underpaid associate at a law firm will not have time to handhold a founder through the intricacies of a draft shareholders’ agreement, and why on earth would you want to pay their hourly rate to do so?

A few hours of reading could save you a whole lot of hassle in the future and stand you in good stead to negotiate with confidence and to understand what’s going on in those long drafting sessions. With simple to understand examples and real life case studies, How Not To Get Screwed finally arms the other side of the table.

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