Strangling yourself with a cap table
Erik Byrenius
682

Erik,

In Sweden you are planning to make employee stock option programs (ESOPs) in startups all taxable under capital gains taxes that will be exercised only at an exit, see e.g. (http://www.breakit.se/artikel/5869/sa-blir-regeringens-forslag-till-nya-personaloptioner-for-startups). So far as I can tell, this will make owning options pretty much similar to owning shares in startups.

This should, in my educated guess at least, go a long way in mitigating the problems with a bad cap table. My question is, have you thought about the effect this will have on early stage (angel) investors? If it will lead to greater dilution in the future, then valuations should actually drop, right? However, this doesn’t need to be a problem to the core team of entrepreneurs, as the ones who stay can get options in the future. It will hurt all leavers the most, though.

I’m asking, because I’m puzzled whether or not this is something that we at the Finnish Business Angels Network FiBAN should promote or not.

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