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Venture Capital

How Foursquare’s Investors Fared in Down Round

Foursquare announced new financing last week that reportedly cut the valuation of the company by roughly half. But a close reading of the company’s charter shows investors in certain rounds, such as series C, come out of the down round much worse off than those in series D.

If Foursquare ends up getting sold at the latest valuation, Series C investors would lose up to 79% of their investment while Series D would get their money back, according to back-of-the-envelope math. The people who put money in at the latest round, Series E, would come away with gains of as much as 50%. Series A would get at least 10 times their money, thanks to how cheaply they bought in, while Series B would lose up to 17%.

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The varying outcomes are a reminder of how financing terms attached to different rounds and classes of shareholders determine how investors in private tech firms do in a sale or initial public offering.