Do you speak VC? 30+ jargons and acronyms you should know

Federico Wengi
Inside SquareOne
Published in
3 min readOct 23, 2015


Every time I jumped into a new industry (4 years ago it was Investment Banking, 3 years ago Tech VC) for the first couple of months I had to catch up with the new jargon and funny abbreviations. This is why I am creating a list of acronyms and tech VC slang that I hope is useful for you.

I will constantly update the list and in case I missed something leave a note or a comment, or ping me at:

I hope this serves as a small service for founders or VC Interns/ Analysts without a financial background. Should you need to dig deeper in some topics I can suggest the following sources:

VC/ Legals

TS = Term Sheet, a sheet summarizing the commercials of an investment agreement contract

SHA = Shareholders Agreement, the contract defining the relationship amongst the company and the shareholders and amongst the shareholders

CT = Cap Table or Capitalization Table, a document (usually a spreadsheet) that states who owns what % of shares in the company

ROFR = Right of First Refusal, in case existing shares of the company are sold, shareholders with a ROFR will have the option to buy those shares, ratably, before they are offered to new investors

Liq Pref = Liquidation Preference, a right attached to a specific class of shares that regulates the order of priority in case of a liquiditiy event (simply put: who gets the $ first in case there is not enough to make everybody happy)

Pre = Pre Money or Pre Money Valuation, one key term of the term sheet, it is the valuation of the company that determines the price per share for a capital increase

Post =Post Money or Post Money Valuation, Post = Pre + capital injection

LPs = Limited Partners, these are the investors of the VC funds

GPs = General Partners, there are commonly known as Partners and are the manager of the VC fund, deciding the allocation of the investments

General Financials

KPIs = Key Performance Indicators, a set of numbers/ ratios displaying the performance of a company

GMV = Gross Merchandise Value, total monetary value of transactions taking place on a marketplace

MRR = Monthly Recurring Revenues, the kind of revenues that SaaS and subscription based companies are earning

ARR = Annual Recurring Revenues, MRRx12

EBITDA = Earnings Before Interests Taxes Depreciation Amortization

EBIT = Earnings Before Interests Taxes

COGS = Cost Of Goods Sold

LTM = Last Twelve Months

YTD = Year To Date

MoM = Month on Month

YoY = Year on Year

H1/H2 =1st Half of the year/ 2nd Half of the year

Q1/Q2…= 1st Quarter of the year/ 2nd Quarter of the year…

FY = Fiscal Year

CAGR = Compound Annual Growth Rate

CAPEX = Capital Expenditure, expenditures required by a company to improve operations, it can be for example the purchase of machinery and properties

IPO = Initial Public Offering, when a company offers its shares to the public markets and gets listed

VC Financials

ROI = Return On Investment, Return/ Investment -1

Money Multiple = Shares Value now/ Total Investment

Valuation Multiple = Company Valuation now / Company Valuation at the time of initial investment

IRR = Internal Rate of Return

EV = Enterprise Value, the equity value + debt value (net of cash)

NAV = Net Asset Value, the total valuation of the assets in a fund

AUM = Assets Under Management, basically how many $ a VC fund is managing

MF = Management Fees, a fixed % of the AUM through which VCs finance the fixed costs of running a VC fund

Like this post? Great! Follow me here on Medium or over on Twitter @federicowengi. It would be cool if you hit “Recommend” on this post too. Thanks!



Federico Wengi
Inside SquareOne

Early stage tech VC at SquareOne VC. Tech and Food enthusiast. Europe's Citizen. FC Internazionale fan.