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Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution: Definition, Example, And Alternative Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution: Definition, Example, And Alternative


Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution: Definition, Example, And Alternative

Learn about full ratchet anti-dilution in finance, including its definition, example, and alternative solutions. Understand how it impacts shareholders and investments.

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Understanding Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution: Definition, Example, and Alternative

When it comes to navigating the complex world of finance, understanding key terms and concepts is crucial. One concept that often arises in the realm of startup funding is Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution. In this blog post, we’ll unpack the definition, offer an example, and explore an alternative approach to help you grasp this important concept.


Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution is a provision commonly found in venture capital investment agreements. It is designed to protect the interests of the investors by adjusting their ownership percentage in a company in the event of a down round. A down round occurs when a company raises funds at a valuation lower than the previous round.


Let’s say a company, ABC Tech Inc., secures its first funding round at a valuation of $10 million. A venture capital firm invests $5 million for a 50% ownership stake. However, in the following funding round, ABC Tech struggles and raises funds at a valuation of $5 million, resulting in a dilution of existing shareholders.

With a Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution provision in place, the venture capital firm’s ownership percentage will be adjusted to maintain their initial 50% ownership stake. In this example, if the new funding round dilutes the existing shareholders by 50%, the investor’s ownership would be adjusted to 75%.

Alternative Approach

While Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution is a common provision, it can lead to unintended consequences. The provision can severely penalize the existing shareholders, negatively impacting the motivation and incentives of the management team. As a result, some investors and companies opt for an alternative approach known as Weighted Average Anti-Dilution.

Weighted Average Anti-Dilution takes into account both the price and the number of new shares issued in a down round, thereby providing a more equitable outcome for all shareholders. By determining a weighted average price, this alternative approach offers a fairer adjustment that considers the dilution effect of down rounds and minimizes the negative impact on existing shareholders.

Key Takeaways:

  • Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution is a provision in venture capital investment agreements that protects investors’ ownership percentage in the event of a down round.
  • Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution provisions can lead to unintended consequences, such as penalizing existing shareholders and impacting management incentives.

When it comes to understanding Full Ratchet Anti-Dilution, it’s important to consider the potential impact on both investors and existing shareholders. While the provision can offer protection for investors, it may not always be the most desirable solution for all parties involved. Exploring alternative approaches, such as Weighted Average Anti-Dilution, can provide a more balanced outcome in down round situations. By familiarizing yourself with these concepts, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the intricacies of startup funding and make informed decisions as an investor or entrepreneur.