What is the difference between a convertible note and a SAFE?

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Convertible notes and Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs) are similar in that they are both types of investment instruments that can be used in early stage financing for startups. Both allow an investor to provide funding to a company in exchange for the potential to receive equity in the future. However, there are some key differences between the two:

  1. Interest and maturity date: Convertible notes typically accrue interest and have a fixed maturity date, while SAFEs do not.
  2. Conversion terms: Convertible notes often include a conversion clause that allows the investor to convert the debt into equity at a later date, often at a discount to the company’s valuation at the time of conversion. SAFEs, on the other hand, do not have a fixed conversion price and the equity the investor receives is tied to a future financing round.
  3. Complexity: Convertible notes tend to have more complex terms and conditions than SAFEs, which are designed to be simpler and more straightforward.

Overall, the choice between a convertible note and a SAFE will depend on the specific needs and circumstances of the company and the investor. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is important for both parties to carefully consider their options before making a decision.

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