Pay to Play

In venture capital, "Pay to Play" is a contractual provision empowering investors to maintain their financial commitment to a startup, ensuring ongoing support. Failure to comply may result in the loss of certain rights, often linked to anti-dilution safeguards.

What it Means:

"Pay to Play" requires investors to continue their pro rata financial backing for a portfolio company. This provision safeguards against dilution and reinforces commitment, fostering investor solidarity during critical funding rounds.

How to Calculate:

Calculation involves determining each investor's pro rata share based on their initial investment. The commitment to "Pay to Play" ensures that investors contribute their proportional stake in subsequent funding rounds.

Why Measure:

Measuring investor commitment through "Pay to Play" is vital for startups seeking sustained support. It establishes a financial framework that encourages investors to actively participate in subsequent funding, signaling confidence to other stakeholders.


Consider an Indian startup with a "Pay to Play" provision. During a new funding round, existing investors commit additional funds in proportion to their initial investment. This not only protects against dilution but also demonstrates unified support, bolstering the startup's valuation.

For Indian founders navigating the dynamic venture capital landscape, understanding "Pay to Play" is pivotal. It transforms investor commitment into a tangible metric, fortifying the startup's financial resilience and signaling to the market a united front of support.