I'm helping some smaller companies with their GTM strategy and building traction. In the process, I'm always looking for derisking tools to keep founders afloat. I've seen some have success with PIPE (warrantless debt), crowdfunding with a "Crowd SAFE" (only converts on an exit), or Stripe Merchant Capital.

Is straight debt or clean crowdfunding permissible to grow businesses during lean periods, or do buy-side firms see them as disqualifying?