Standard Investment Policy for Startups (SIPS)

InterPrime Advisors LLC
August, 2020

Congrats! You just raised a round of funding and have some cash in reserve. Your number one priority is to keep it safe, but you also wonder if you could be getting a better return on your money. Big companies don’t leave all their cash sitting in the bank - they have dedicated treasury teams to invest it, carefully and responsibly. You’d love to do the same, but as a startup with limited resources, you need to focus on your business. Still, the thought of "doing the right thing" with your investors' money hangs around in the back of your mind.

After managing money for startups of all sizes over the last few years at InterPrime, we have developed a keen understanding of the cash management needs of growing companies. We’ve distilled that knowledge into a standardized set of rules and guidelines, the Standard Investment Policy for Startups (SIPS), which we’re "open-sourcing" today. You can adopt SIPS immediately and start investing your business’s money safely and responsibly. 

SIPS is supported by Tribe Capital, Morrison & Foerster, NoMo Ventures, Pioneer Fund, Early Growth and many others. It’s approved, ready to go and ALL startups can use it now.

SIPS will help you to:

  1. Keep your cash safe
  2. Earn the market rate of return on your money
  3. Assure your investors that you will responsibly steward their capital

SIPS does that by stipulating:

  1. The amount of cash which must be kept on hand at all times
  2. The specific types of investments which are allowed or prohibited
  3. Investment reporting and review guidelines

SIPS can be configured to meet the specific needs and requirements of your business, however we provide two out-of-the-box configurations that will work for most startups without any tweaking.

SIPS Basic  [ pdf ] [ docx ]

A U.S. Treasuries-only policy. Treasuries are widely considered the safest possible place to park cash.

SIPS Advanced  [ pdf ] [ docx ]

Allowable investments include U.S. Treasuries, U.S. Bank CDs and Investment-Grade Corporate Bonds.

We are putting SIPS out into the world because our mission is to empower businesses to better manage their money. We’d love for you to use it. Check out the self-service user-guide to get started or get in touch if you’d like to work with us to implement SIPS and automate cash management for your business.