StartupTools was founded to make the startup ecosystem more effective and efficient at its core. It is based on the idea that fair deals produces the best companies and strives to, in a way, represent the perspective of the startup itself. If a collaboration is too entrepreneur-, investor- or employee friendly, chances are that this imbalance will, in some form, ultimately harm the startup and stunt its full potential.
The StartupTools Standard works as a toolbox letting people, even with limited experience (as the case is for many entrepreneurs, employees and some investors), broker fair successful deals. And to do this at the lowest possible cost, spending the smallest possible amount of time on “legal”.
We are proud to say that our documents are the underlying legal machinery of many successful startups.
When we determine our standards, such as; vesting terms, subsequent orders of purchase rights (sexy! I know) or precisely how the WISE-model should be designed we consult with two main categories of equally important advisors:
- Legal Professionals
- The Startup Community
Our main guy is, and has always been, Mattias Larsson. In addition to him, we also consult with multiple other domain experts in all the various jurisdictions where we are active. That is currently: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland & Iceland.
We source input from professionals in all these countries and weigh it together to a coherent standard with local adaptions for compliance. You can see who those heroes are in the localized documents and on the website.
Do the lawyers always get their way? Not quite. See more below.
The Startup Community
We always check and test any updates and standards we promote with the people who actually use these documents in their own startups.
(Serial) Entrepreneurs are a super important source of feedback for us. We want anyone founding a company to feel like these terms are fair and help them to succeed. The documents have to be easy to use.
Investors make out the other leg of the community and are equally important. For mutual success, it is crucial that investors feel the StartupTools Standard gives them fair terms for their risk and money.
Feedback is the greatest thing, we actively seek and carefully consider all feedback sent to us from users in both categories.
Legal systems vary, in fact they vary greatly in some areas. This means that our documents also vary to be compliant with this. Generally, this makes no difference to the set standards, but there might be some small exceptions.
Our perspective on localization
The purpose of the localization we do is to translate our set standards into functioning legal frameworks in each country.
We strive toward one standard throughout the jurisdictions where we are active. We consider the startup ecosystem to be borderless, and see great value in equalising terms to make investments easy and fair everywhere. With that said, there are some local flavours we have found necessary to introduce, for eg:
- Vesting in Finland is always default at 4 years, the local praxis on this is very strong
- In Finland the company can be liable for warranties, it is not possible in for eg. Sweden, we think this is good and will in time adopt this into the jurisdictions where we can
- In Finland, with a Lead VC the default promotes preferential shares, it is optional in SE/NO/DK/IS
None of the local standards go outside the general standard we maintain, they are just narrower spans within them or what we think would be best for all countries, if it was legally an option.
The adaptions we make are primarily legal, in the sense that we strive to achieve the same conditions and outcome in all jurisdictions. To manage this we need to alter some paragraphs and adhere to local praxis.
To the best of our ability, our documents provide the same balance and standard everywhere.
We have also seen that providing transparent high quality documents with standardised terms makes international investments considerably easier. Any investor looking to enter the nordics, or to invest across nordic borders, can now do so without having to spend a fortune on researching and understanding the local jurisdiction.