Capitalization Table

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DEFINITION of 'Capitalization Table'

A spreadsheet or table that shows ownership stakes in a company, typically a startup or early stage venture. A capitalization table is a record of all the major shareholders of a company, along with their pro-rata ownership of all the securities issued by the company (equity shares, preferred shares and options), and the various prices paid by these stakeholders for these securities. The table uses these details to show ownership stakes on a fully diluted basis, thereby enabling the company's overall capital structure to be ascertained at a glance.


Also known as 'cap table.'

BREAKING DOWN 'Capitalization Table'

A common template for capitalization tables is to list shareholders in a column on the left side of the table and describe each investment round (such as Series A, Series B etc.) across the top of the table. Founders are usually listed first, followed by executives and key employees with equity stakes, and then investors such as angel investors and venture capital firms for each round.

While the capitalization table may seem like a basic document, it is an essential component in the growth and evolution of a successful company. Access to sufficient capital is vital for the early success of a development-stage company, and the capitalization table is an invaluable tool for recording and tracking ownership stakes as the company advances its business plan.

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