Convertible Note

Share This
« Back to Glossary Index
  • Rating:
  • (458)

Convertible notes are often used by angel investors who wish to fund businesses without establishing an explicit valuation of the company in which they are investing. 

When an investor purchases equity in a startup, the purchase price of the equity implies a company valuation. For example, if an investor purchases a 10 per cent ownership stake in a company, and pay $1m for that stake, this implies that the company is worth $10m.

Some early stage investors may wish to avoid placing a value on the company in this way, because this in turn will affect the terms under which later-stage investors will invest in the company.

Convertible notes are structured as loans at the time the investment is made.  The outstanding balance of the loan is automatically converted to equity when a later equity investor appears, under terms that are governed by the terms set by the later-stage equity investor.  An equity investor is someone who purchases equity in a company.

About David Rashty

David Rashty, an entrepreneur and one of the early web pioneers, has over twenty years’ experience as a CTO and a CEO. He has been involved in several start-ups and established companies and was the founder of two successful ventures.David is currently using his proven leadership and management skills to act as a Part Time CTO or "JumpStart" CTO for several early-stage ventures; this includes helping them design and develop their product and IT infrastructure.David holds a BS in computer science and an M.Sc in educational technology. He has been a adjunct university professor, given numerous workshops, written several books and articles on information technology and received numerous innovation awards.