Sooner rather than later the founders of a technology start up are going to try to get funding. If they have not done this before it will be a whole new world of investors, jargon and eventually, hopefully, legal documentation. While it may not feel like it, this is a very well trodden path. As a result, there is much custom and practice that has developed over the years so that many legal documents relating to seed investment look very similar.
To date, when we have advised on seed rounds, we have used a simplified version of Series A documents. We have now decided that we should go further and produce a set of investment related documents reflecting the needs of the investors, founders and the company now and not try to anticipate what might be needed at the Series A round.
These documents are made freely available in the hope that they will help to educate the entrepreneurial community and speed up the investment process, not to mention keep costs to a minimum. Alongside the documents themselves, there are explanatory notes on the investment agreement and the articles of association. There are three versions of the articles of association: preference and ordinary, EIS and ordinary and just ordinary.
When drafting these documents, we have tried to strike a balance between the wishes of investors and founders. They should be seen to be a starting point and will need amending because no two investments are the same. We are sure that they can be improved and, to that end, would welcome feedback on the documents which should be sent to email@example.com. Using that feedback and our continuing experiences in the market place, we will issue further versions of these documents.