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Know Why Venture Debt Is Becoming Increasingly Important For Startups

A new complementary financing option has emerged...

What is Venture Debt, how does it work and what are the main differences between it and Venture Capital

Venture debt has become an increasingly popular form of financing for startups in recent times. While venture capital has traditionally been the go-to source of funding for high-growth companies, venture debt has emerged as a complementary financing option that can provide startups with the capital they need to grow without diluting their equity. In this article, we will explore the reasons why venture debt is so important for startups (and VCs) in 2023 and the key differences between venture capital and venture debt.

What is Venture Debt?

Venture debt is a form of debt financing that is provided to startups and emerging growth companies. It is typically structured as a loan, with the lender receiving interest payments and repayment of the principal over a set period of time. Unlike traditional bank loans, venture debt is often secured by the startup’s assets or intellectual property, rather than collateral or personal guarantees from the founders.

Why is Venture Debt Important for Startups?

1. Provides Non-Dilutive Capital:

One of the biggest advantages of venture debt is that it allows startups to raise capital without giving up equity. Equity financing can be expensive, as it involves selling ownership stakes in the company to investors in exchange for capital. By contrast, venture debt is a loan that must be repaid, but does not require the startup to give up ownership.

2. Helps Extend Runway

Venture debt can also help startups extend their runway, or the amount of time they have before they run out of cash. This is especially important for early-stage companies that are still developing their product or service and need time to prove their business model. By providing additional capital, venture debt can help these startups survive longer and reach key milestones that may attract follow-on funding.

3. Attractive to Investors

Venture debt can also be attractive to investors, as it shows that the startup has a strong balance sheet and is able to manage its cash flow effectively. This can help the startup attract additional equity funding in the future, as investors may see it as a sign of financial discipline and responsible management.

Differences between Venture Capital and Venture Debt

While venture capital and venture debt are both forms of financing for startups, there are some key differences between the two.

1. Equity vs. Debt

The most obvious difference is that venture capital involves selling equity in the company, while venture debt is a loan. This means that venture capital investors become owners of the company and are entitled to a share of the profits if the company is successful. Venture debt lenders, on the other hand, are creditors and are only entitled to the interest payments and repayment of the principal.

2. Risk vs. Reward

Another key difference between venture capital and venture debt is the level of risk and reward involved. Venture capital is a high-risk, high-reward form of financing, as the investors are betting on the success of the startup in order to earn a return on their investment. Venture debt, by contrast, is lower-risk, as the lenders are primarily concerned with the startup’s ability to repay the loan.

3. Timing and Use of Funds

Venture capital is typically used to fund early-stage companies that are still in the development phase, while venture debt is often used to finance growth and expansion. Venture capital is also typically used for larger investments, while venture debt is often used for smaller amounts of capital.


In conclusion, venture debt has become an increasingly important form of financing for startups in 2023. It provides non-dilutive capital, helps extend runway, and can be attractive to investors. Venture capital involves selling equity in the company, while venture debt is a loan. Venture capital is high-risk, high-reward, while venture debt is lower-risk. 

At Lazo, we understand that choosing the right financing option for your startup is critical to your success. Whether you’re considering venture debt or another financing option, our team of experts can help you become investment ready and raise your next round of funding. Schedule a call with us today and let’s take your startup to the next level!

The Lazo Team 💜

How to reduce dilution of shares

To minimize dilution, startups can consider several strategies such as:

Maximizing the valuation of the company by demonstrating strong financials and growth potential to attract investors.
Delaying fundraising until the company has reached specific milestones or has become more established, allowing for a higher valuation.

Choosing the right type of financing, such as debt financing or convertible notes, which do not immediately result in the issuance of new shares.

Negotiating favorable terms in investment agreements, such as anti-dilution provisions or pre-emptive rights, to protect existing shareholders’ ownership.
By implementing these strategies, early-stage startups can reduce dilution and maintain more significant ownership stakes for their founders and early investors.

However, it’s essential to strike a balance between minimizing dilution and raising enough capital to fuel growth.


Only raise what you require to advance your firm

t’s important to raise only the amount of capital you need to take your business to the next level. Remember, the more you borrow, the more your company’s shares will be diluted.

So, it’s crucial to plan carefully and set a budget that will help you achieve your business goals without overburdening your company with excessive debt. This will not only prevent you from losing control of your company but will also help you attract future investors who are interested in seeing a healthy balance sheet.

In short, keep a close eye on your company’s equity, and make sure you’re raising only what you need to succeed. With a well-planned budget and a clear vision, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful and sustainable startup.


Take your time

Spend time reviewing the terms and conditions before signing a term sheet or SAFE. Your current choices will have long-term effects.

At Lazo, we understand the complexities of startup financing and equity dilution. Our legal team is here to help you navigate these challenges and achieve your goals. If you’re looking for guidance on how to reduce equity dilution in your startup, please don’t hesitate to reach out by scheduling a call with us. We’d love to hear from you!

The Lazo Team💜.