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Founder’s Pocket Guide: Cap Tables

ISBN: 978-1-938162-07-7


$3.99 ebook

$7.99 paperback

The goal of this guide is to help you understand the key moving parts of a startup cap table, including reviewing typical cap table inputs, and demystifying terminology and jargon associated with cap table discussions. Along the way, this highly visual guide provides easy-to-follow examples for the most common calculations related to cap table building.

Expanding on these key skills every startup founder should know, this Founder’s Pocket Guide helps you learn how to:

  • Build your basic cap table step by step, including founder’s shares, option pools, angel investor rounds, and VC rounds.
  • Decipher cap table specific lingo, such as fully-diluted shares outstanding, preferred shares vs. common shares, Series A, Series B, and so on.
  • Establish a stock option pool in your cap table and understand the option pool effect on founder dilution.
  • Understand the simple math behind cap table formulas and calculations, including calculating fully diluted shares outstanding, investor equity ownership percentages, and share price.

Download the Cap Table Companion File

This companion file to the Founder’s Pocket Guide: Cap Tables enables readers to follow along with each section of this guide. With a live version of the excel file you’ll be able to review the overall layout of the cap table, examine each of the formulas that calculate outcomes such as shareholder percentages, and conduct what-if scenarios that show how investments and founder dilution percentages play out.

Founders-Pocket-Guide-Cap-Table-Mar-2019.xlsx (14211 downloads )

What’s Inside

Table of Contents

1. In This Pocket Guide

  • Download Our Example Cap Table File

2. Cap Table Basics

  • What Is a Cap Table?
  • When To Worry About a Cap Table?

3. Reviewing the Key Sections of the Cap Table

  • Shareholders
  • Stock Type
  • Startup Foundation (Founders’ Round)
  • First Angel Round
  • Investment Round Deal Parameters
  • Angel Round Shares and Ownership
  • Fully-Diluted Stock % (Percentage)
  • Option Pool Rows
  • Exit Scenario Calculations

4. How to Fill Out A Cap Table Step by Step

  • Startup Formation and the Cap Table
  • The Formation Round
  • Setting Up An Option Pool
  • The First Angel Round
  • The Second Angel Group
  • The VC Investment Round
  • Exit Scenarios in the Cap Table
  • Tracking Convertible Debt Investments
  • Tracking Founder Vesting
  • Tracking Warrants

5. Reviewing Supporting Cap Table Concepts

  • Startup Funding Terminology
  • Pre-Money and Post-Money Valuation
  • Fully Diluted Shares Outstanding
  • Preferred Shares
  • Common Shares
Sample Pages
Sample Pages
Sample Pages
Sample Pages
Sample Pages
Sample Pages

What People are Saying

“Great resource”

“A concise step by step review. The model supplied will be recycled over and over again.”

Dean D.

“Great beginner guide to cap tables”

“Totally helped demystify some things for me. Tons of post-it’s are stuck inside my copy for later review. This is good if you are starting from little to zero knowledge about cap tables.”


“Five stars”

“Spot on. Exactly what I was looking for. I’ve picked up bits and pieces on various blogs, but this guide really pulled it all together for me.”

Greg C.

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