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Breather for startup investors

Govt extends timeline for debt-equity conversion upto 10 yrs

Breather for startup investors

New Delhi: The government has extended the timeline up to ten years for startups to convert debt investments made in the company into equity shares, a decision which is likely to give a relief to budding entrepreneurs to deal with the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, according to a press note of the DPIIT.

Earlier, the option of changing convertible notes into equity shares was allowed for up to five years from the day when initial convertible note was issued. Now, timeline has been extended to ten years.

An investor can invest in a startup through convertible notes, which is a kind of debt/loan instrument. But in this investment, the investor is given the option that if the startup performs well or achieves some performance milestones in future, the investor can ask the startup to issue equity shares of the company against the money that they had initially invested as loan/debt.

"Convertible note means an instrument issued by a startup company acknowledging receipt of money initially as debt, which is repayable at the option of the holder, or which is convertible into such number of equity shares of such startup company, within a period not exceeding ten years from the date of issue of the convertible note, upon occurrence of specified events as per the other terms and conditions agreed to and indicated in the instrument," the note said.

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