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Class F has Arrived!

Posted by Adeo Ressi on 2009-04-23

The Institute has created startup agreements for any company to use, giving founders unprecedented levels of control and protections. Since the internet bubble burst, a number of enhanced protective provisions have been introduced into preferred stock. As an example, "participating preferred" has become commonplace since the last crash. Meanwhile, there have been comparatively few advances to protect founders, who are forced to accept historically bad investment terms and being terminated from their companies by investors in the current economic environment.

Is common strock good enough anymore?

"Class F" is a new class of common stock specifically to protect founders. The stock offers Founders a suite of protective provisions, 2:1 Board votes per Founder versus normal Board Members, and 10:1 share votes as compared to normal common. Class F shares vest monthly without a cliff to act as compensation for founding teams, and "single trigger acceleration" allows one Founder to leave without hurting co-Founders. Class F holders get acceleration on change in control and approval rights on new investments, liquidity events, Board size, and dividends.

Class F is most founder-centric shares created to date, including more generous than the infamous founder agreements of Larry and Sergey at Google. Companies in the Institute also have a warrant that requires permission from the Institute when a founder is removed from the Board of Directors, or the company will suffer a financial penalty.

The agreements are available below:

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