Acronyms for Startups – FundingSage

Here is a listing of  acronyms commonly used by entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators, and others who interact with startup ventures and startup financing:

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ACA -  Angel Capital Association  
ACCT -  Account
ACRS -  Accelerated Cost Recovery System. The IRS-approved method of calculating depreciation expense for tax purposes. Also known as Accelerated Depreciation. 3
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ADR -  American Depositary Receipt (ADRs). A security issued by a U.S. bank in place of the foreign shares held in trust by that bank, thereby facilitating the trading of foreign shares in U.S. markets. 3
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AMT -  Alternative Minimum Tax. A tax designed to prevent wealthy investors from using tax shelters to avoid income tax. The calculation of the AMT takes into account tax-preference items.3
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- Synonyms: Alternative Minimum Tax
AP -  Accounts Payable
API -  Application Programming Interface
AR -  Accounts Receivable
ARC -  African Regional Conference
ARC -  Appalachian Regional Council
ARR -  Annual Recurring Revenue - The recurring subscription-based revenue which software as a service / platform as a service, (SaaS / PaaS) based companies receive annually; also known as the run rate.6
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ARR -  Annual Run Rate
ASP -  Application Service Provider
ATDC -  Advanced Technology Development Center
AUM -  Assets Under Management
B2B -  Business to Business transactions occur when one business engages in commercial interactions with other business(es); under this scenario, one business is the supplier and the other business(es) engaging in the transaction are the customers.6
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B2C -  Business to Consumer transactions occur when a business engages in commercial interactions directly with consumers; under this scenario, the consumer is the end-use customer of the product or services provided.6
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BDC -  Business Development Company
BHAG -  Big Hairy Audacious Goal, the giant sweeping vision of a startup founder to change the world.7
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- Synonyms: Big Hairy Audacious Goal
BOD -  Board of Directors
BR -  Bounce Rate
BS -  Balance Sheet
CAC -  Customer Acquisition Cost
CAGR -  Compound Annual Growth Rate. The year-over-year growth rate applied to an investment or other aspect of a firm using a base amount.3
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CAO -  The senior executive officer responsible for the analytical aspects of a corporation / company.6
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CAPEX -  Capital Expenditures
CCE -  Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics
CEO -  CEO - Chief Executive Officer
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CfIRA -  Crowdfunding Intermediary Regulatory Advocates
CFO -  The senior executive officer responsible for the financial aspects of a corporation / company.6
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CFP -  Certified Financial Planner
CfPA -  Crowdfunding Professional Association
CIO -  The senior executive officer responsible for the informational aspects of a corporation / company.6
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CLTV -  Customer Lifetime Value
CMO -  The senior executive officer responsible for the marketing aspects of a corporation / company.6
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CMS -  Content Management System
COB -  Close of Business
COGS -  Cost of Goods Sold
COO -  The senior executive officer responsible for the operational aspects of a corporation / company.6
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CPA -  Cost per Acquisition
CPA -  Certified Public Accountant
CPC -  Cost per Click
CPC -  Cost per Conversion
CPL -  Cost per Lead
CPU -  Central Processing Unit
CPU -  Cost per Unit
CR -  Conversion Rate
CR -  Credit
CRM -  Customer Relationship Management
CSO -  The senior executive officer responsible for the security aspects of a corporation / company.6
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CT -  Cap Table
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CTA -  Call to Action
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CTO -  The senior executive officer responsible for the technological aspects of a corporation / company.6
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CTR -  Click-through Rate
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DD -  Due Diligence
DNS -  Domain Name Server
DR -  Debit
EBAN -  European Business Angels Network
EBITDA -  Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization. A measure of cash flow calculated as: = Revenue - Expenses (excluding tax, interest, depreciation, and amortization). EBITDA looks at the cash flow of a company. By not including interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, we can clearly see the amount of money a company brings in. This is especially useful when one company is considering a takeover of another because the EBITDA would cover any loan payments needed to finance the takeover.3
EBITDA -  Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization
EIN -  Employer Identification Number
EOD -  End of Day
EPS -  Earnings per Share
ERISA - 
  • ERISA shall mean the United States Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, including the regulations promulgated thereunder.3
  • Significant Participation Test: A test that is satisfied if the General Partner determines in its reasonable discretion that Persons that are “benefit plan investors” within the meaning of Section (f)(2) of the Final Regulation constitute or are expected to constitute at least 25 percent of the interests of the Limited Partners.  Note that the test is 25% of the interests of all the limited partners, which means 20% (+/-) in the partnership as a whole, taking into account the general partner’s interest.3
ESOP -  Employee Stock Option Plan
EV -  Enterprise Value
FEIN -  Federal Employer Identification Number
FFF -  Friends & Family Round
FIFO -  First In First Out
FMA -  First Mover Advantage
FTE -  Full Time Employee
FY -  Fiscal Year
GA -  Google Analytics
GAAP -  Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The common set of accounting principles, standards, and procedures. GAAP is a combination of authoritative standards set by standard-setting bodies as well as accepted ways of doing accounting.3
GAAP -  Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
GEW -  Global Entrepreneurship Week
GMV -  Gross Merchandise Value
GP -  General Partner
HR -  Human Relations
HTML -  Hyper-text Markup Language
IM -  Instant Messaging
IP Address -  Internet Protocol Address
IPO -  Initial Public Offering or IPO is the first sale of stock by a private company to the public. IPOs are often smaller, younger companies seeking capital to expand their business.5
- Synonyms: Initial Public Offering
IRA -  Individual Retirement Account
IRR - 
  • Internal Rate of Return. A typical measure of how VC Funds measure performance. IRR is technically a discount rate: the rate at which the present value of a series of investments is equal to the present value of the returns on those investments.3
  • Internal Rate of Return or IRR is often used in capital budgeting, it's the interest rate that makes net present value of all cash flow equal zero. Essentially, IRR is the return that a company would earn if they expanded or invested in themselves, rather than investing that money abroad.5
ISP -  Internet Service Provider
JOBS -  Jumpstart our Business Startups Act
KISS -  Keep it Simple Stupid
KPI -  Key Performance Indicator
LBO -  Leveraged Buyout
LIFI -  Last In First Out
LLC -  Limited Liability Company
LP -  Limited Partner
LTM -  Last Twelve Months
LTV -  Lifetime Value
MBI -  Management Buy-in
MBO -  Management Buyout
MESBIC -  Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Companies
MF -  Management Fee
MoM -  Month over Month
MRR -  Monthly Recurring Revenue
MSP -  Multi-sided Platform
MVP -  Minimal Viable Product
NACO -  National Angel Capital Association
NASD -  The National Association of Securities Dealers. A mandatory association of brokers and dealers in the over- the-counter securities business. Created by the Maloney Act of 1938, an amendment to the Securities Act of 1934.3
NASD -  National Association of Securities Dealers
NASDAQ -  An automated information network which provides brokers and dealers with price quotations on securities traded over the counter.3
NAV -  Net Asset Value
NDA -  Non Disclosure Agreement
NPV -  Net Present Value
NYSE -  The New York Stock Exchange. Founded in 1792, the largest organized securities market in the United States. The Exchange itself does not buy, sell, own, or set prices of stocks traded there. The prices are determined by public supply and demand. Also known as the Big Board.3
OOO -  Out of Office
OS -  Operating System
OTC -  Over-the-Counter. A market for securities made up of dealers who may or may not be members of a formal securities exchange. The over-the-counter market is conducted over the telephone and is a negotiated market rather than an auction market such as the NYSE.3
- Synonyms: Over-the-Counter, Over the Counter
P&L -  Profit and Loss Statement
PaaS -  Platform as a Service
PIK -  Payments in Kind
PIPE -  ("Private Investment for Public Equity”)Private offering followed by a resale registration.3
- Synonyms: Private Investment for Public Equity
PIV -  Pooled Investment Vehicle. A legal entity that pools various investors’ capital and deploys it according to a specific investment strategy.8
PM -  Project Manager
POC -  Proof of Concept
PPC -  Pay per Click
PR -  Public Relations
Product Market Fit -  Product Market Fit
PTE -  Part-time Employee
PTO -  Paid Time Off
PV -  Page View
QA -  Quality Assurance
QoQ -  Quarter over Quarter
QPAM -  Qualified professional asset manager as defined by ERISA.3
- Synonyms: Qualified Professional Asset Manager
QPAM -  Qualified Professional Asset Manager
R&D -  Research and Development
RAM -  Random Access Memory
Right of First Refusal - 
ROA -  Return on Assets
ROE -  Return on Equity
ROI -  Return on Investment
ROR -  Ruby on Rails
SaaS -  SaaS refers to Software as a Service, a cloud based software application where users are charged on a subscription basis.6
SAFE -  Simple Agreement for Future Equity, a new form of funding for early stage companies developed by YCombinator to solve a number of issues with traditional convertible note financing.7
SAFE -  Simple Agreement for Future Equity
SBA -  Small Business Administration
SBIC -  Small Business Investment Company
SBIR -  Small Business Innovation Research Program. See Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982.3
- Synonyms: Small Business Innovation Research
SBIR -  Small Business Innovation Research Program
SEC -  The United States Securities and Exchange Commission charged with regulating all sales of corporate securities.7
- Synonyms: Securities and Exchange Commission
SEM -  Search Engine Marketing
SEO -  Search Engine Optimization
SHA -  Shareholders Agreement
SM -  Servicemark
SM -  Social Media
SMB -  Small to Medium Business
SMM -  Social Media Marketing
SPAC -  Specified Purpose Acquisition Company
STTR -  The Small Business Technology Transfer program, from the US government; intended to assist educational institutions in transferring new technology to the private sector.7
SWOT -  Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Analysis
TM -  Trademark
TS -  Term Sheet
UI -  User Interface
ULPA -  Uniform Limited Partnership Act, see also the RULPA, Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act U.L.P.A. § 101 et seq. (1976), as amended in 1985 (R.U.L.P.A.).3
URL -  A protocol for delineating addresses on the internet.6
- Synonyms: Universal Resource Locator
USPTO -  United States Patent & Trademark office
UV -  Unique Visitor
UX -  User Experience
VC -  Venture Capital / Venture Capitalist
VPN -  Virtual Private Network
WOM -  Word of Mouth
WoW -  Week over Week
YOY -  A financial comparison which examines a specified performance factor for a specified year with the same performance factor for the previous year.  Year over Year comparisons can can be direct comparing the actual performance factors, or differences between the factors in either absolute or percentage terms. It has the advantage over shorter term comparisons of eliminating seasonality and potentially revealing longer term trends.6
- Synonyms: Year Over Year
YTD -  Year to Date

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