天使投资中的 Term Sheet 法律问题浅析

CHAIN 编辑按:此文为CHAIN法律顾问朱辰昊律师特稿

 朱辰昊 毕业于斯坦福大学法学院,美国K&L Gates 律师事务所 Palo Alto 分所律师。

“CHAIN愿变成童话里,你爱的那个天使,张开双手变成翅膀保护你”
— 题记

你要获得天使投资了!这是zero to IPO 征程上的一个大里程碑!
天使投资人说这钱不是白给的,要签合同。而且一般来说要六个合同:

  • Termsheet
  • Stock Purchase Agreement
  • Board Consent
  • Stockholder Consent
  • Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation
  • Investor’s Right Agreement

这些合同一般都是用语非常复杂,一般都是让人摸不着头脑。我们律师界为了拉客户的基本技巧,就是写一些只有自己能看懂的合同,一段很长很绕的话,然后都是逗号,看了好几行,你以为可以看到句号了,结果只是一个分号,然后连接词是unless,又一大段,然后你以为可以看到句号了,结果又只是一个分号, 然后连接词是except, 又一大段,然后你以为可以看到句号了,结果又只是一个分号, 然后连接词是provided that… (其实中国的医生也是这样,写的处方都只有本院药房能看懂)

看不懂时候,当然是找律师咨询最好,特别是找朱律师最好。(哇,西红柿、臭鸡蛋都上来了。。。别别别,我给大家的律师费打九九折还不行吗?哇,矿泉水瓶也上来了。。。)

Y Combinator,一家 seed-stage startup funding firm 起草了一套简化版的合同,供人免费下载使用

http://ycombinator.com/seriesaa.html

这套合同写的比较简单,也不一定适用与所有情况,但是完全可以用来帮助大家了解天使投资阶段,投资人和企业家之间究竟是为什么样的法律问题会纠结。本文想先就Term Sheet做一个简单的分析。

这是一个介绍性的分析。所以 if concepts like “ liquidation preference” or “Right of first refusal” is already your second nature, please skip this op-ed or just skim it to refresh your recollection. But if you still have no idea what those concepts mean upon the receipt of your angel funding, by all means read on.

—————————————————————————————————————-

上面链接中的Termsheet中写到

Liquidation preference:
In the event of a liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, the Preferred will have the right to receive the original purchase price prior to any distribution to the common stock. The remaining assets will be distributed pro rata to the holders of common stock. A sale of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets or a merger or consolidation of the Company with any other company will be treated as a liquidation of the Company.

这一段是清算优先权。意思是说,在普通股股东获得利益分配之前,投资人要获得原始投资一个确定倍数的回报。

这里是1倍的清算优先权。也就是说,如果天使投资人投了20万美元的话,那么在企业家这些普通股股东获得利益分配之前,投资人要获得20万美元的回报。

目前硅谷的通行标准是1倍清算优先权。有少数投资人要求2倍清算优先权。也就是把上段改为:

In the event of any liquidation or winding up of the Company, the holders of the Series A Preferred shall be entitled to receive in preference to the holders of the Common Stock a per share amount equal to 2  the Original Purchase Price plus any declared but unpaid dividends

这样的话,如果天使投资人投了20万美元的话,那么在企业家这些普通股股东获得利益分配之前,投资人要获得40万美元的回报。

—————————————————————————————————————-

上面链接中的Termsheet中写到

Conversion:

The Preferred may be converted at any time, at the option of the holder, into shares of common stock. The conversion rate will initially be 1:1, subject to customary adjustments.

这里的customary adjustments可以写的更明白一点:

The Preferred may be converted at any time, at the option of the holder, into shares of common stock. The conversion rate will initially be 1:1, subject to adjustments for stock dividends, splits, combinations and similar events and as described below under “Anti-dilution Provisions.”

比如,优先股按照$1/股的价格发行给投资人,初始转换价格为$1/股。后来公司决定按照每1股拆分为2股的方式进行股份拆分,则新的转换价格调整成$0.5/每股,对应每1股优先股可以转为2股普通股。

—————————————————————————————————————-

上面链接中的Termsheet中写到

Automatic conversion:

Each share of Preferred will automatically convert into common stock, at the then applicable conversion rate, upon (i) the closing of a firmly underwritten public offering of common stock, or (ii) the consent of the holders of at least a majority of the then outstanding shares of Preferred.

自动转换权

在IPO的时候,基本上承销的投资银行都要求公司的优先股转换成普通股。因为,IPO卖的是普通股,而普通股上如果负担的有优先股这么多优先权利是不好卖的。所以在Term Sheet中设计automatic conversion条款。一旦达到IPO的时候,无论优先股是不是同意,都必须转换成普通股,不要影响公司IPO的前程。

这里的这一段就是非常保护企业家利益的。但是不知道投资人会不会同意。因为,大部分情况下,投资人都要求严格定义IPO为“有效的IPO”。也就是说,必须是真正能让投资人赚钱的IPO才可以trigger automatic conversion. 一般来说,term sheet  中会这么写

All of the Series A Preferred shall be automatically converted into Common Stock, at the then applicable conversion price, upon the closing of a firmly underwritten public offering of shares of Common Stock of the Company at a per share price not less than [three] times the Original Purchase Price (as adjusted for stock splits, dividends and the like) per share and for a total offering of not less than [$10] million (before deduction of underwriters commissions and expenses) (a “Qualified IPO”). All, or a portion of, each share of the Series A Preferred shall be automatically converted into Common Stock, at the then applicable conversion price in the event that the holders of at least a majority of the outstanding Series A Preferred consent to such conversion.”

所以一般来说是IPO时候,只有新股发行值不低于1000万美元(扣除承销费和上市费用之前),并且能够保证优先股股东赚到自己原始投资的三倍以上,才算是有效的IPO。有些苛刻的投资人甚至要求必须达到4-5倍才能自动转换。但是有些企业家能把这个数字谈到2倍就可以自动转换。

新股发行值一般是写不低于1000万美元(扣除承销费和上市费用之前),有些投资人要求1500万美元。有些企业家能谈到750万美元。(不可能更低了,因为这是美国上市file form s-1的最低融资额)

————————————————————————————————————–

General voting rights:

Each share of Preferred will have the right to a number of votes equal to the number of shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of each such share of Preferred. The Preferred will vote with the common stock on all matters except as specifically provided herein or as otherwise required by law.

这是投票权。比如天使投资阶段你出让了20%的股份给投资人,那么企业家会有80%的股份。下面的保护条款会给优先股自己保护自己不被企业家这80%欺负的权利。

Protective provisions:

So long as any of the Preferred is outstanding, consent of the holders of at least 50% of the Preferred will be required for any action that: (i) alters any provision of the certificate of incorporation if it would adversely alter the rights, preferences, privileges or powers of the Preferred; (ii) changes the authorized number of shares of Preferred; or (iii) approves any merger, sale of assets or other corporate reorganization or acquisition.

投资人在保护性条款中会要求对公司的一系列事件拥有批准的权利。一般来说,企业家要想办法减少这些事件的数量。但是这里仅仅列了三条。有经验的投资人会要求增加这几条:

(iv) authorizes or creates any new series of shares having rights, preferences or privileges senior to or on a parity with the Series A Preferred;(v) purchases or redeems any common stock of the Company (other than pursuant to stock restriction agreements approved by the board upon termination of a consultant, director or employee);
(vi) declares or pays any dividend on any shares of Common or Preferred Stock;
(vii) approves the liquidation or dissolution of the Company;

(iv) 设立或批准设立任何拥有高于或等同于A类优先股的权利、优先权或特许权的其他股份;

(v) 回购或赎回公司任何普通股(不包括董事会批准的根据股份限制协议,在顾问、董事或员工终止服务时的回购

(vi) 宣布或支付给普通股或优先股股利;

(vii) 批准公司清算或解散;

 

如果投资人提出这些条件,其实也是可以答应的。但是如果他们对于公司日常经营的routine matter,比如借贷、改变高管薪酬、处理公司产品的知识产权都要求控制权,恐怕就应该提出反对或者提出自己的条件:

(a)要求公司运营达到periodical milestone之后,去除某些保护性条款;

(b)把投资人要求的某些保护性条款从“股东级别”变成“董事会级别”,批准权由投资人的董事会代表在董事会决议时行使,而不由投资人的优先股投票。

(这个处理办法是在这个事项后面加个例外条款)

Unless it has received the prior approval of the Board of Directors, including the approval of [________] Series A Director(s)

另外,这个条款的第一句So long as any of the Preferred is outstanding

这没有条款生效的最低股份要求,这是有问题的。比如,如果因为回购或转换成普通股,优先股只有1股在外流通,这1股优先股的持有人不应该拥有阻止公司进行某些特定事项的权利。所以应该在把any改成50%, 至少也是25%:

So long as 50% shares of Series A Preferred are outstanding,

———————————————————————————————————————–

上面链接中的Termsheet中写到

Right to maintain

proportionate ownership:

Each holder of at least [_________] shares of Preferred will have a right to purchase its pro rata share of any offering of new securities by the Company, subject to customary exceptions. The pro rata share will be based on the ratio of (x) the number of shares of Preferred held by such holder (on an as-converted basis) to (y) the Company’s fully-diluted capitalization (on an as-converted and as-exercised basis). This right will terminate immediately prior to the Company’s initial public offering or five years after the financing.

这个其实是优先购买权(Right of first refusal)

这个条款要求公司在进行B轮融资时,目前的A轮投资人有权选择继续投资获得至少与其当前股权比例相应数量的新股,以使A轮投资人在公司中的股权比例不会因为B轮融资的新股发行而降低。另外,优先购买权也可能包括当前股东的股份转让,投资人拥有按比例优先受让的权利。

这是一个很常见且合理的条款。

———————————————————————————————————————–

上面链接中的Termsheet中写到

Information rights:

As soon as practicable, the Company will deliver to each holder of at least [______] shares of Preferred, (i) unaudited annual financial statements and (ii) unaudited quarterly financial statements. The information rights will terminate upon an initial public offering.

这也是一个很常见且合理的条款

———————————————————————————————————————–

Other Matters:                             

Market stand-off. Holders of Preferred will agree not to effect any transactions with respect to any of the Company’s securities within 180 days following the Company’s initial public offering, provided that all officers, directors and 1% stockholders of the Company are similarly bound.

这是市场隔离约定(“Market Stand-Off” Agreement ):是在未来IPO的情形下的关于股东禁售期作出约定。

禁售期 (Lock-up Period),是IPO。一般而言,IPO后公众投资者对公司了解都只流于表面,所能得到的信息亦相对较少,为了稳定公众投资者的信心,以及令整个过程尽可能公平,股份禁售期应运而生,大股东及其他基础投资者等等都会受到禁售期的限制,即一段规定的时间内不得出售所持股份。

这也是很正常的约定。

———————————————————————————————————————–

另外,这个 Term Sheet中不包括防稀释条款。也就是说,如果你们down round时候给其他投资者更优惠的价格,你们的这一轮投资者无权要求调整价格。

一般来说,VC都会要求加防稀释条款的,以后有机会,再写文章分析防稀释条款。

在上文中可以看出,很多条款都是靠企业家和投资人比拼霸气,才能决定如何安排的。这就像是在美国开车遇到stop sign,如果两方同时到达,虽然交通规则是说什么”转弯让直行”, “右手边先行“,但是实际生活中全靠霸气,谁气场大谁先行。

所以,希望大家都能握住几个关键点,鼓足气场, 据理力争,拿到最好的条款。

PS: 天使融资时候,如果有问题,请找CHAIN。CHAIN愿变成童话里,你爱的那个天使,张开双手变成翅膀保护你。

This entry was posted in 专栏文章, 初创企业, 朱辰昊律师谈. Bookmark the permalink.
  1. 写得很好!我是一个投资人,需要联系您咨询一些事项,请您联系我好吗,谢谢

  2. 我正在和一个天使投资人洽谈。他是全资投资。

    他提出如果公司失败,他拿走剩余资产,所付出金额双方各承担一半。

    我觉得不合理。请问通常有类似这样的条款吗?

  3. Hi there, just was alert to your blog via Google, and located that it’s really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you proceed this in future. A lot of people might be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  4. I will right away take hold of your rss feed as I can’t in finding your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please permit me recognise in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  5. Pingback: google