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Cap Tables Explained

A tutorial video with no math and no spreadsheets

This is part seven of a series on ownership for founders. This isn’t a series on how to raise, but how to understand different owner perspectives, including your own.

Spreadsheets are good for calculating cap tables, but not good for explaining how the basic mechanics work. The result is that too many founders, and some investors, find cap tables confusing.

This video tutorial uses a visual approach to constructing (and deconstructing) cap tables. Along the way I cover these topics:

  • founder splits and reverse vesting

  • concept of dilution

  • how (and when) Safes convert

  • the difference between creating the ESOP before and after VCs invest

  • preferred shares

  • liquidation preferences

  • exit waterfalls

Know someone interested in cap tables? Please share this video!


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A Leap of Faith
A Leap of Faith
Raymond Luk