Finance: What are vanilla terms?

What are vanilla terms? As the arguably oldest and most popular ice cream flavor, vanilla has set a standard reference and become synonymous with “conventional.” Vanilla terms are usually ones that are so commonplace as to have become boilerplate. These are often described for property leases, for securities, and other kinds of financial related documents. As one would expect, vanilla terms lay out standard and predictable guidelines. As such, they can be used as a template when only minor additions need to be made, much like adding a single ingredient, such as chocolate sauce or butterscotch, to vanilla ice cream.

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Transcript

00:23

strong suspicion that this is a fad not a real

00:26

business at least not a business that will sustain itself

00:28

a decade or two even long enough Teo you know

00:31

go public so the term sheet proffered to the founders

00:34

seeking to raise money isn't vanilla of vanilla term sheet

00:39

would be a set of terms that would be easily

00:42

digestible to everyone really simple and really clean That's vanilla

00:46

investors generally get preferred stock which sits above common in

00:51

the priority stack in a liquidation like things go badly

00:54

and you have to sell the company preferred investors get

00:56

paid first but preferred investors normally get just one times

01:01

their money back in a sail and then split whatever's

01:03

left Well a non vanilla form of this term would

01:06

be where an investor gets three or four for five

01:09

times their money back first before the common stock gets

01:13

a dime that is if an investor is giving a

01:15

founder of a company with just a million bucks in

01:17

revenue a pre money valuation of some forty million dollars

01:21

and that investor invest ten million box with a five

01:24

acts lick prep for liquidity preference Well then the investor

01:28

gets back five times ten or fifty million dollars off

01:31

their ten Originally before the founders common stock gets paid

01:35

a dime in the case of a sale Now if

01:37

company does an ai po and half a billion dollar

01:39

valuation well then the preferred stock even it five x

01:43

converts to become common and everybody's happy But the five

01:46

x lick craft is not a vanilla term It has

01:50

spice Other vanilla terms might be where an investor asked

01:54

for a royalty of a few percent of revenues off

01:56

the top when they invest And yeah the bald guy

01:59

on shark tank seems to do this all the time

02:01

It's Why he's no longer mr wonderful you know like

02:04

why would you invest and then harm the company's profit

02:07

margins at the same time By taking the royalty on

02:10

revenues Yeah Makes no sense to us either Go figure

02:12

Mr wonderful what you're doing on that show Mmm Yummy