Dear SaaStr: Does the reverse vesting procedure for founders raising a VC round usually have a new 1-year cliff?

Generally no.

“Reverse vesting” can sound like a draconian VC term, and it may almost be triggering the first time you hear it.  But it’s actually both (1) very common when founders are fully vesting in the early days and raise a VC round, and (2) aligns interests.

In the end, adding some vesting to your shares won’t make any difference if you are going long. It will make sure the VCs know you are committed. But more importantly, if one of your co-founders quits early … they won’t leave with quite as much of the company.  

But adding a cliff doesn’t make much sense. As founders, you’ve already crossed the initial threshold of “adding value” and not quitting early. A cliff is a step too far.

A related post here:

A Simple Commitment Test For You And Your Co-Founders

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