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Ratchet

A provision that provides an investor with down-round protection (i.e., where the company raises a subsequent round of financing, which can include IPO, at a lower price) by providing for the issuance of additional shares in the subsequent round. In the IPO context, a ratchet provision provides that if the IPO price does not meet a certain level, say at least the price paid by the investor in the private round or some baked in rate of return above that price, the IPO conversion of those shares to common shares is adjusted such that an additional number of shares are issued to investors which would meet the predetermined level.

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