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Pre Money VS Post Money Valuation

Skylar Williams

Oct 26, 2022 15:07


Valuation is essential when venture capitalists and investors receive equity shares in exchange for their investment, and this valuation will decide the proportion of shares they will receive. There are two valuation types: pre-money and post-money.

As they prepare their company for future development or an IPO, founders of early-stage startups must be familiar with these words. After all, recognizing this distinction could make or break your business strategy.

We'll go over each of these terms, how they vary, how to calculate them, and when they could be useful to your organization. By the end of this essay, you should better understand why/which valuation method is appropriate for your business.

Where Do Valuations Originate?

Entrepreneurs and investors each have their own methodologies to determine the worth of a startup.

When entrepreneurs evaluate their firm's value, they often begin by compiling an inventory of their assets, including their liquidation value. Although this strategy is sound, it is not a dependable indicator of profitability.

Comparing a business to its rivals is the most typical method for entrepreneurs to determine its valuation. This "market-value strategy" is most effective for businesses with few assets.

In contrast, venture capitalists value startups in a more realistic manner. Many venture capitalists adhere to the adage that startup valuation is "more art than science." They mean that it is difficult to place a value on something that has not yet established itself through quantifiable evidence (i.e., revenue; profits).

Without this vital information, venture capitalists may rely on less exact approaches to arrive at a comfortable number.

What Is The Definition of a Pre-money Valuation?

In the world of startups, your startup's valuation is a frequent conversation topic. Depending on your current funding and startup stage, making sense of this price may be very challenging. When you decide to go out and raise capital, the value of your business and the risks attached to it will increase dramatically. It makes little difference whether an entrepreneur or founding team seeks angel investors, venture capital funding, or bootstraps; if the investment is involved, the startup will have a pre-money valuation and a post-money valuation. Understanding this distinction is critical for a startup.


This sort of valuation has a pretty straightforward definition. Pre-money valuation is the value of a startup without external funding or prior to an active funding round. This is the valuation offered to a potential investor prior to a funding round to demonstrate the company's current value. A company's pre-money valuation will fluctuate over time.

Equity Value vs. Share Price

Noting that pre-money valuation relates to the whole equity worth of the business and not the share price is essential. While obtaining additional cash affects the equity value, the share price is unaffected.

What Is The Definition of A Post-Money Valuation?

Post-money, on the other hand, refers to the money of the corporation after receiving the funds and investments.

Post-money valuation comprises external finance or the most recent capital injection. Both are essential concepts for the valuation of any company, so it is essential to distinguish between them.

Let's illustrate the distinction with an example. Assume an investor is interested in investing in a tech startup. The entrepreneur and the investor concur that the company's value is $1 million, and the investor will invest $250,000 in the business.

The ownership percentages will vary depending on whether the $1 million valuation is pre-money or post-money. If the $1 million valuations are pre-money, then the company is worth $1 million before the investment and $1.25 million after the investment. The valuation of $1 million includes the $250,000 investment, which is referred to as post-money.

The valuation method employed can have a substantial effect on the ownership percentages, and this is related to the valuation placed on the company prior to investment. If a corporation is evaluated at $1 million, the pre-money valuation is more accurate than the post-money valuation because it does not include the $250,000 invested. Although this impacts the entrepreneur's ownership by a small fraction of 5%, it can represent millions of dollars if the business goes public.

Pre Money Vs Post Money Valuation

A post-money valuation occurs after an organization has received outside investment. A pre-money valuation occurs before a company accepts outside financing.

When assessing a company's pre-money valuation, investors and founders determine the company's estimated monetary value. It might be challenging to identify a company's true pre-money valuation. Investors and founders frequently disagree on the worth of a firm, and without the facts provided by a funding round, it is typically impossible to support claims completely.


As a result, pre-money valuations are frequently based on information from comparable organizations that have previously raised capital. This information can be obtained from research papers, internet tools like PitchBook, or the investors' and founders' personal networks.

Why Are Pre-money And Post-Money Valuations Significant?

Because these valuations have the greatest impact on deciding the proportion of a firm that an investor will purchase for a certain investment, as well as the proportion of the company that existing stockholders will keep. Sourcian is a dedicated platform for the recommendation of the best manufacturers. Your sourcing journey starts right here at sourcian.

A thorough understanding of pre-money and post-money valuations will greatly assist negotiations. In addition to being a vital aspect of a transaction's dynamics, a cap table is a simple way to demonstrate to potential investors that you understand the mechanics of a startup and its capitalization table.

Your post-money valuation can be made or broken by your pre-money valuation. Understanding the components of a pre-money valuation enables a founder to make an informed decision regarding whether to accept new investors and, eventually, to maintain a post-money valuation that they can remain enthusiastic about.

Helping investors make a decision

One of the benefits of having excellent pre-money and post-money valuations for your firm is that these values can assist potential investors in determining the proportion of your company they will acquire and retain. Some investors also favor using unique guarantees or warranties; for instance, convertible notes postpone evaluation until later (when the product gap is more apparent and the company is more mature).

Helping you explain your value

These principles are also significant since they can assist you in negotiating to fund your firm. Pre-money and post-money valuations are an excellent method of describing the inner workings of your firm and demonstrating that you comprehend (and can convey) its potential.

Giving your employees more information

Knowing your pre-money and post-money valuation numbers is also a terrific method to help your staff understand their stock options, attract fresh talent, and prepare for your company's purchase.

How to Calculate Pre-money Valuation?

The calculation of the pre-money valuation is straightforward. However, it does necessitate an additional step, which is to determine the post-money valuation.

Pre-money valuation = Post-money valuation – investment amount

Understanding what variables you have in place that will be attractive to investors and then adding them to your anticipated desired post-money valuation will help you choose how much investment to seek and how to offer a pre-money valuation to investors.

How to Calculate Post-Money Valuation?

Post-money valuation = Investment dollar amount ÷ percent investor receives.

The pre-money and post-money valuations could also be derived using an alternative valuation based on the quantity of easily available information regarding the terms of the investment round.

If the pre-money valuation is unknown but the funding raised and indicated equity ownership is disclosed, the post-money valuation can be determined using the following formula:

Post-Money Valuation = Financing Raised / % Equity Ownership

The post-money valuation will be a fixed monetary amount that does not fluctuate similarly to the pre-money valuation.

Ultimately, understanding pre-money and post-money valuations are essential if you plan to participate in a startup in any capacity. Employees should keep this in mind when assessing their stock options and how their firm presents them. Founders must comprehend this to grow their businesses sensibly, and investors must comprehend these valuations to make clever investments and walk away with high-potential earnings.

What Effect Does Pre-money Valuation Have on Post-Money Valuation?

The pre-money valuation of your firm affects the post-money valuation as well, which is a crucial issue to bear in mind. For instance, if a business identifies an appropriate market gap and grows rapidly, it can stimulate investor interest and obtain an excellent pre-money valuation. The higher this pre-money valuation, the greater an investor's willingness to pay for a stake in your business.


Price per share (or PPS, "share price") is the market price per share of stock and is determined by what a buyer is ready to pay and what a seller is willing to take. Obtaining adequate funding might help you build a robust PPS and prepare for a future acquisition.

However, determining your PPS as a new company is not always straightforward. You must first determine your pre-money valuation, then divide it by your fully diluted market capitalization. If the PPS increases, the pre-money valuation will decrease proportionally (and the same should happen in the other direction).

To prepare for an IPO or acquisition, you must always time your funding with the best possible pre-money valuation and post-money valuation.

Why Is Startup Valuation Usually Fluid?

Pre-money valuation and post-money valuation are often flexible, speculative, and market, stakeholder, and investor-driven.

For instance, the founder of a startup will typically seek a higher price since they believe in their concept and can envision its entire potential better than anybody else. On the other hand, new investors will focus more on risk and ensure they are not overpaying, and their valuation could be lower.

Post-money values are typically simpler to compute because they are determined retrospectively. Even though pre-money valuations are far more prevalent for young firms, various variables must be considered. Among the factors that can influence a pre-money valuation are the following:

  • Employee share plans (plans you can give to your employees so they become shareholders)

  • Pro-rata participation rights (previously agreed-on rights given to previous investors, typically involving ownership rights)

  • Debt-to-equity conversion (any situation with the potential to take debt and pay it back accompanied by a specific amount of stock)

  • Market forces and novel opportunities

What Is A Reasonable Pre-money Valuation For A Startup?

A startup's reasonable pre-money valuation will rely on a number of aspects, including its stage of development, its industry, and the amount of money being raised.

For instance, early-stage firms often have a lower pre-money valuation than later-stage enterprises due to their greater risk and lesser income potential.

Additionally, the industry influences the pre-money valuation. In sectors with strong development potential, such as technology and healthcare, startup valuations are typically higher than in slower-growing businesses.

The quantity of money raised also affects the pre-money valuation. A startup will likely have to give up more shares if it wants to raise a substantial amount of capital. As a result, their pre-money valuation will decrease.

What Is A Suitable Post-Money Valuation For A Startup?

Similar to pre-money businesses, a good post-money valuation depends on several criteria, such as the company's stage, industry, and the amount of money being raised.

For instance, a firm that has recently concluded a Series A funding round will likely have a greater post-money valuation than one that is still in the early phases of development.

The same holds true for firms in various areas; a biotech startup will likely have a greater post-money valuation than a consumer products startup.

The amount of money raised by the firm will also affect its post-money valuation. Typically, the higher a startup's post-money valuation will be, the more money it seeks.


You should aim for a post-money valuation between three and five times your present pre-money valuation, and this will provide your startup with sufficient runway and room to expand.

Obviously, it is useful to remember that a post-money valuation is not a fixed number; it's negotiable and should be adjusted accordingly to the specifics of the situation. You can request a higher post-money valuation if your product or service is appealing and has a huge potential market. Similarly, you may need to accept a lower post-money valuation if you're targeting a tiny market or if you face intense competition.

Pre-money or post-money, the most critical thing is to ensure that your startup is appropriately valued. Undervaluing your startup can leave you with insufficient funds for growth and expansion while overvaluing it will make it challenging to attract investors.

If you are uncertain as to what a reasonable post-money valuation for your startup might be, you should consult with an experienced startup attorney or advisor. They will be able to guide you through the difficult world of startup valuations and guarantee you reach a fair agreement.

Which Type of Valuation Is Used More Often?

Pre-money valuations are more prevalent in term sheets than post-money valuations (sometimes both). When appraising an early-stage company, having both valuations in mind may be advantageous, as the two terms may occasionally contradict.


When researching and building your startup portfolio, you will regularly encounter both pre-money and post-money valuations. It is crucial to understand their distinctions because they define the proportion of a firm that you will control.

You will not be required to negotiate or even calculate any offers in the Republic, and our diligence team vets all deals for you.


Up and down rounds have monetary repercussions that can be better understood if one is familiar with the concept of pre-money and post-money valuation, as described above. Additionally, it aids in making informed fundraising decisions. A well-completed valuation can help your business expand by clearly showing its current market value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a pre-money valuation of greater significance than a post-money valuation?

No; both numbers are necessary for startups and determine the worth of your firm once the financing round is complete. In reality, the pre-money valuation might impact the post-money valuation. Both of these quantities can be utilized as shortcuts to calculate each other more efficiently; therefore, they are equally important to your business.

Does financing reduce my ownership of the stock?

Yes, your ownership stake lowers with each new round of funding. However, the more capital you raise with each investment round, the more you may expand your business. Each investment round will enhance the value of your firm, hence increasing the value of each share you own. There are merits to both alternatives. If you are uncertain about what to do, it is advisable to consult with a business attorney.

Do pre-money valuations impact financing?

Your estimated pre-money value significantly affects the size of ownership stake an investor may consider. This is due to the fact that the PPS (price per share) an investor is willing to pay is precisely proportional to the pre-money value you've agreed upon (if one goes up, the other goes down). Remember that this value refers to the equity worth of the company, not its share price.