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Investor-Friendly Deal Terms on Upswing

It used to be that the most favorable terms a private tech investor could negotiate, limiting their potential losses or enhancing potential gains, were most commonly struck in late-stage funding rounds. Now, those terms are finding their way into younger startups, according to venture capitalists and lawyers privy to the negotiations.

On Monday, The Information published the deal terms for dozens of the most highly-valued tech companies, from Uber to Airbnb to Honest Co. The rarely-seen data revealed how much tech company funding rounds differ from one another. It showed that investor-friendly terms were relatively rare in the largest private tech companies. Honest Co. was one that granted more such investor protections than most others.

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“Some of these terms creeping in earlier and earlier is really scary,” said Brian O’Malley, a partner at venture capital firm Accel Partners.