Liquidation Preference

Liquidation Preference in Indian startup finance refers to the predetermined order in which investors or debt holders receive payouts during company liquidation or bankruptcy. This strategic provision, often utilized by venture capitalists, ensures prioritized returns on their investment in various liquidation scenarios.

What it Means:

Understanding Liquidation Preference is essential for Indian founders. It outlines the hierarchy of payouts in adverse scenarios, offering investors a layer of protection. This mechanism safeguards their interests and guarantees a certain level of financial return before other stakeholders.

How to Calculate:

Calculating Liquidation Preference involves examining the terms specified in investment agreements. If, for instance, a venture capitalist has a 2x preference and invested INR 10 crore, they are entitled to receive the first INR 20 crore from the liquidation proceeds before other stakeholders.

Why Measure:

Measuring Liquidation Preference is crucial for Indian founders to comprehend the impact on investor returns. This knowledge empowers founders in negotiations and structuring deals, fostering transparency and trust with investors, and influencing the startup's overall financial strategy.


Imagine a scenario where an Indian healthtech startup undergoes liquidation with a total value of INR 50 crore. A venture capitalist, having invested INR 15 crore with a 1.5x preference, would receive the first INR 22.5 crore from the liquidation proceeds. The remaining amount, if any, is distributed to other stakeholders.

For Indian founders, grasping Liquidation Preference is instrumental in cultivating investor relationships and navigating financial decisions. By aligning with investor expectations, startups can foster a conducive funding environment, ensuring sustainable growth in the dynamic startup landscape.