Cumulative Dividend

Covenants, integral components in startup finance contracts, represent obligations outlined within an agreement. When the obligation involves taking a specific action, it's termed a Covenant, while refraining from certain actions is labeled a Negative Covenant. For instance, committing to secure life insurance on key employees is a Covenant, while refraining from budget deviations approved by investors is a Negative Covenant. For Indian founders, understanding Covenants is crucial in navigating contractual commitments.

What it Means:

Covenants embody commitments made within a contract, ranging from proactive obligations to restrictions on certain behaviors. Positive Covenants involve taking specific actions, such as obtaining insurance, while Negative Covenants dictate what actions must be avoided, such as budget deviations. These obligations are binding and play a vital role in maintaining trust and adherence to agreed-upon terms.

How to Calculate:

Calculating Covenants doesn't involve numerical calculations; rather, it requires a meticulous understanding of the terms outlined in the agreement. The calculation involves assessing compliance or non-compliance with the specified obligations. For instance, ensuring key employees are covered by life insurance aligns with a positive Covenant, while any deviation from the approved budget violates a Negative Covenant.

Why Measure:

Measuring Covenants is imperative for Indian founders to ensure contractual compliance and maintain a healthy relationship with stakeholders. Regular assessments help in preventing breaches, which can have financial and reputational consequences. Adhering to Covenants fosters transparency and trust, key elements in sustaining investor confidence.


Consider an Indian fintech startup that secures funding with specific Covenants in place. A Positive Covenant might require the startup to implement enhanced cybersecurity measures. Simultaneously, a Negative Covenant could restrict the startup from altering its business model without investor consent. Regular audits and compliance with these Covenants ensure a harmonious relationship between the startup and investors.

In this scenario, adherence to Covenants not only safeguards the startup's operations but also reinforces trust with investors, enhancing the overall stability of the venture.

In conclusion, Covenants form the backbone of contractual agreements for Indian founders, guiding actions and ensuring mutual commitment. By embracing and proactively managing Covenants, founders instill confidence in stakeholders, paving the way for sustained growth and a resilient financial foundation in the Indian startup landscape.