To understand why investors pump money into private tech firms at apparently ever-rising valuations, you need to know the terms of the investments. These are things like the payouts investors are guaranteed if the company goes public, is acquired or liquidated. Also important: how many votes an investor gets and the dividends they’re promised.
These details are never announced publicly, which means they mostly stay hidden from public view. But it is possible to figure out most of the terms from documents filed with public agencies. Using data compiled by research firm PitchBook and supplemented by The Information’s reporting, we’ve prepared this analysis of how 33 of the highest profile private tech firms stack up. For definitions of terms used in the accompanying chart, see this glossary.