SAFE is a kind of warrant that gives investors the right to obtain shares of the company, usually preferred shares if and when there is a future valuation event (i.e. when the company collects « cheap » equity next year, is acquired or it files an IPO). Y Combinator, a well-known technology accelerator, created the SAFE rating in 2013 (simple agreement on future capital) and uses it to finance most start-ups participating in three-month development meetings. Since 2005, Y Combinator has funded more than 1,000 startups, including Dropbox, Reddit, WePay, Airbnb and Instacart. Apart from Y Combinator, SAFE is tested and used by startups in the crowdfunding markets. In 2020, the number of non-convertible notes (for example. B SAFE and kiss notes) used by pre-financing companies is just as widespread (58%) The number of convertible bonds issued. If companies become more well known to SAFE from the beginning, this rather young security may have found its ideal niche in the offers of Title III, also known as crowdinvesting for all investors. SAFE agreements are a relatively new type of investment created by Y Combinator in 2013. These agreements are concluded between a company and an investor and create potential future capital in the company for the investor in exchange for immediate money to the company. SAFE turns into equity in a subsequent funding cycle, but only if a specific trigger event (as described in the agreement) takes place.
Our first safe was a « pre-money » safe, because at the time of its launch, startups collected smaller sums of money before collecting a funding cycle (typically a Preferred Stock Round Series). The safe was a quick and simple way to get the first money into the business, and the concept was that safe owners were only early investors in this future price cycle. But fundraising, staged early on, grew in the years following the introduction of the initial safe, and now startups are raising far more money than the first « seeds » funding cycle. While safes are used for these seed rounds, these towers are really better regarded as totally separate financing, instead of turning « bridges » into subsequent price cycles. Another new function of the safe concerns a « prorgula » right. The original safe required the company to allow holders of safes to participate in the financing round after the financing round in which the safe was converted (for example. B if the safe is converted into series group preferred actuators, a secure holder – now holder of a Series A preferred share subseries – is allowed to acquire a proportionate portion of the Series B preferred share). While this concept is consistent with the original concept of safe, it made no sense in a world where safes were becoming independent funding cycles. Thus, the « old » pro-rata right is removed from the new safe, but we have a new model letter (optional) that offers the investor a proportional right in the preferential financing of Series A on the basis of the converted safe property of the investor, which is now much more transparent.
Whether a start-up and an investor enter the letter with a safe will now be a choice that the parties will choose, and this may depend on a large number of factors. Factors to consider can (among other things) the amount of the safe purchase and the amount of future dilution that proportional duty can cause to the founders – an amount that can now be predicted with much greater accuracy if post-money safes are used. To understand what a SAFE is, it is also important to know what it is not. It is not a debt instrument. Nor are they common shares or convertible bonds. However, SAFe`s convertible bonds are similar in that they can provide equity to the investor in a future preferred share cycle and include caps