I have a fund that signed a SAFE (simple agreement for future equity) and wants to invest $400k in my company. It has been 2 months and they haven't sent the money. This had materially impacted my company. They have $85M in assets. How can I collect what I am owed and how long does this process typically take?

1 Answer 1


A SAFE is basically what used to be called a "subscription agreement", i.e. an agreement to invest money in the future that will ultimately give rise to an equity investment if made.

From a practical perspective, while the contract is legally enforceable, pursuing a lawsuit to enforce it is almost always a death knell level bad move. Firms who sue investors early in the game don't get future investors. The amount of time it takes to enforce such an agreement in a lawsuit is also too long (perhaps a year or two before you have money in hand if it runs its course and still many months if it settles), and the cost of doing so is too great (probably more than $40,000 that you won't get back to bring in $400,000), for it to make sense to do so at the delicate early stage of a start up.

Instead, what you need to do is get on the phone with the investor, or quite possibly meet in person, at their offices or in a more casual deal making environment over drinks, for example, to figure out what is troubling them or slowing things up and how to make them happy. This is more of a function of continuing to sell the fact that you are good investment and an opportunity that they are missing out on, than it is about telling them about your legal rights.

If this fails, it is probably wiser to seek financing from someone else than to force them to perform.

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