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A simple agreement for future equity (SAFE) is a simple way to raise money from investors. Similar to a convertible note, a SAFE converts into equity during a future funding round or liquidity event.
Carolynn Levy, a Y Combinator partner, created the SAFE in 2013 as an alternative to convertible notes. Unlike convertible notes, SAFEs aren’t debt, which makes them administratively simpler. The SAFE has now supplanted the convertible note as the early-stage investment vehicle of choice for startups.
A SAFE generally has a valuation cap, discount rate, or both, which could determine how much equity the investor receives during a conversion event.
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