Startup Glossary

In the land of startups, scale-ups and Venture Capitalism, jargon and abbreviations are absolutely everywhere. Use this startup glossary of terms to search 101+ definitions every startup founder should know.

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There are currently 14 definitions in this directory beginning with the letter S.

Sales Led Growth (SLG)
Sales-led growth is a growth approach where the sales team and sales processes are the primary driver of customer acquisition, and is often used to generate quick or short-term revenue to aid in the growth of the business. Most commonly compared with Product Led Growth.

How big can a startup grow and what are the barriers to growth? A less scalable business may fall into the category of lifestyle business (see Cottage Business).

Once a startup reaches the growth phase, it is generally referred to as a scale-up. "A company who has an average annualized return of at least 20% in the past 3 years with at least 10 employees in the beginning of the period (OECD, 2007)"

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The process of improving a website to increase its visibility in search engines for relevant search queries, usually with a focus on user experience, crawlability, indexability and content relevance.

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
SEIS is a tax relief scheme created by the UK Government to encourage investment in seed-stage startups and businesses. Read more here.

Seed Funding
Seed funding is the first official equity funding stage. It typically represents the first institutional money that a startup raises. Some VCs or Angels specialise in Seed funding, usually expecting a higher equity stake to account for the increased risk or early stage businesses.

Series A
Series A funding is that which can be used to further enhance or develop or product / service, once the startup has an established track record (as demonstrated by KPIs such as Monthly Recurring Revenue, User numbers, sales etc).

Shareholders' Agreement
A shareholders' agreement is an agreement entered into between all or some of the shareholders in a startup. It regulates the relationship between the shareholders, the management of the company, ownership of the shares and the protection of the shareholders.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
SaaS is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted, usually cloud-based.

Stack (Tech or Marketing)
An expression originally used to describe all the technology services used to build and run one single application, now used more generically as a collection of technologies and tools used by a business to fulfil a certain function.

The term startup is generally used to refer to new companies in the initial stages of operations, usually characterised by high costs and limited revenue (funded either by the founders themselves are external investment).

Stealth mode
A startup operating under the radar, keeping their value proposition / product a secret before an official launch so as not to alert competitors prematurely.

Sweat Equity
Awarding shares/equity in a startup to early employees or contractors in place of some (or all) of their salary.

A syndicate is a fund combining investment from multiple VCs or Angels. They are generally led by specialist investors and are financed by institutional investors or sophisticated angels. Syndicates are generally private.

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