An entrepreneur, an investor, and a lawyer participate in an interview series… What sounds like the setup for a joke is serious business: In a new series, we present three different perspectives on convertible loans, term sheets, and shareholders’ agreements so that you can gain new insights to negotiate with more confidence. We start the series with the entrepreneur’s perspective on convertible loans: PXL Vision founders Michael Born and Karim Nemr share their experiences with this financing method.
In the first part of a new series, we look at convertible loans. Convertible loans are a financing method that is becoming increasingly popular in Switzerland: Startups receive a loan that will be converted into equity (common stock or equity shares) at the next qualified financing round. Investors who provide convertible loans can receive interest payments and a discount on the stock price they pay compared to the price incoming investors have to pay in the financing round. Convertible loans often come with a cap—a maximum valuation at which the loan can be turned into equity.
This financing method has the advantage that the loans can usually be executed quickly and without too much administrative effort. The startup may postpone the valuation discussion until it has reached additional milestones with the help of the loan.
To learn more about an entrepreneur’s perspective on convertible loans, we asked not one but two experts: Michael Born and Karim Nemr, two PXL Vision founders, share their thoughts on this specific financing method for startups. Michael and Karim are both serial entrepreneurs: The two founded software company Dacuda, which Magic Leap acquired in 2017. After the successful exit, Michael, Karim, and fellow Dacuda team members founded PXL Vision, a Venture Leaders Mobile 2021 that provides fully automated digital identity verification.