Long-story short: there are two kinds of SAFE structures. The original safe had a pre-money method for calculating the SAFE’s conversion price, and it became a very popular seed instrument, particularly in silicon valley.

However, a few years ago the SAFE’s publisher, Y Combinator, completely revamped the instrument into a post-money structure, which is significantly worse economically for founders, and structured to favor investors. If you close on a post-money SAFE, the founders (you) will absorb all dilution from any subsequent convertible securities (Safes or Notes) until a Series A. Your post-money SAFE holders will be completely protected from dilution until their SAFEs convert. This can be terrible for the common stock.

Many, many founders have lost huge amounts of their cap tables because they unwittingly signed up to post-money SAFEs without fully processing the dilution implications.

The SAFE template currently available for download on YC’s website is the post-money (problematic) version. They took down the pre-money template years ago.

If you are set on doing a safe, try a pre-money SAFE, or a redline post-money SAFE, both available in this template library, which also has a template convertible note as a viable alternative. NYC investors are often more comfortable with convertible notes than SAFEs. Also consider seed equity if the round is above $1 million in size and has a lead investor.

For a deeper explanation of the downsides of the post-money SAFE, see Why Startups shouldn’t use YC’s Post-Money SAFE.