venture capital


  • Venture capital (often abbreviated as VC) is a form of private equity financing that is provided by venture capital firms or funds to startups, early-stage, and emerging companies
    that have been deemed to have high growth potential or which have demonstrated high growth (in terms of number of employees, annual revenue, scale of operations, etc).

  • Although the titles are not entirely uniform from firm to firm, other positions at venture capital firms include: Structure of the funds[edit] Most venture capital funds have
    a fixed life of 10 years, with the possibility of a few years of extensions to allow for private companies still seeking liquidity.

  • In exchange for the high risk that venture capitalists assume by investing in smaller and early-stage companies, venture capitalists usually get significant control over company
    decisions, in addition to a significant portion of the companies’ ownership (and consequently value).

  • [51] Because a fund may run out of capital prior to the end of its life, larger venture capital firms usually have several overlapping funds at the same time; doing so lets
    the larger firm keep specialists in all stages of the development of firms almost constantly engaged.

  • In addition to angel investing, equity crowdfunding and other seed funding options, venture capital is attractive for new companies with limited operating history that are
    too small to raise capital in the public markets and have not reached the point where they are able to secure a bank loan or complete a debt offering.

  • [citation needed] If a company does have the qualities venture capitalists seek including a solid business plan, a good management team, investment and passion from the founders,
    a good potential to exit the investment before the end of their funding cycle, and target minimum returns in excess of 40% per year, it will find it easier to raise venture capital.

  • Venture capitalists typically assist at four stages in the company’s development:[26] • Idea generation; • Start-up; • Ramp-up; and • Exit Because there are no public exchanges
    listing their securities, private companies meet venture capital firms and other private-equity investors in several ways, including warm referrals from the investors’ trusted sources and other business contacts; investor conferences and symposia;
    and summits where companies pitch directly to investor groups in face-to-face meetings, including a variant known as “Speed Venturing”, which is akin to speed-dating for capital, where the investor decides within 10 minutes whether he wants
    a follow-up meeting.

  • As a consequence, most venture capital investments are done in a pool format, where several investors combine their investments into one large fund that invests in many different
    startup companies.

  • [note 1] Throughout the 1970s, a group of private-equity firms, focused primarily on venture capital investments, would be founded that would become the model for later leveraged
    buyout and venture capital investment firms.

  • Additionally, venture capital units within Chemical Bank and Continental Illinois National Bank, among others, began shifting their focus from funding early stage companies
    toward investments in more mature companies.

  • By definition, VCs also take a role in managing entrepreneurial companies at an early stage, thus adding skills as well as capital, thereby differentiating VC from buy-out
    private equity, which typically invest in companies with proven revenue, and thereby potentially realizing much higher rates of returns.

  • Over the next two years, many venture firms had been forced to write-off large proportions of their investments, and many funds were significantly “under water” (the values
    of the fund’s investments were below the amount of capital invested).

  • [25] Ventures receiving financing must demonstrate an excellent management team, a large potential market, and most importantly high growth potential, as only such opportunities
    are likely capable of providing financial returns and a successful exit within the required time frame (typically 3–7 years) that venture capitalists expect.

  • Venture capital firms in the United States may also be structured as limited liability companies, in which case the firm’s managers are known as managing members.

  • [16] In response to the changing conditions, corporations that had sponsored in-house venture investment arms, including General Electric and Paine Webber either sold off
    or closed these venture capital units.

  • [47] Compensation[edit] Main article: Carried interest Venture capitalists are compensated through a combination of management fees and carried interest (often referred to
    as a “two and 20” arrangement): Management fees, Quarterly payments made by the limited partners to the fund’s manager to pay for the firm’s investment operations.

  • The compensation structure, still in use today, also emerged with limited partners paying an annual management fee of 1.0–2.5% and a carried interest typically representing
    up to 20% of the profits of the partnership.

  • [37] It can take anywhere from a month to several years for venture capitalists to raise money from limited partners for their fund.

  • Venture capitalists provide this financing in the interest of generating a return through an eventual “exit” event, such as the company selling shares to the public for the
    first time in an initial public offering (IPO), or disposal of shares happening via a merger, via a sale to another entity such as a financial buyer in the private equity secondary market or via a sale to a trading company such as a competitor.

  • The 1958 Act officially allowed the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to license private “Small Business Investment Companies” (SBICs) to help the financing and management
    of the small entrepreneurial businesses in the United States.

  • [50] Strong limited partner interest in top-tier venture firms has led to a general trend toward terms more favorable to the general partner, and certain groups are able to
    command a carried interest of 25 to 30% for their funds.

  • Smaller firms tend to thrive or fail with their initial industry contacts; by the time the fund cashes out, an entirely new generation of technologies and people is ascending,
    whom the general partners may not know well, and so it is prudent to reassess and shift industries or personnel rather than attempt to simply invest more in the industry or people the partners already know.

  • [52] Furthermore, many venture capital firms will only seriously evaluate an investment in a start-up company otherwise unknown to them if the company can prove at least some
    of its claims about the tec

  • [16][17][18] Venture capital boom and the Internet Bubble[edit] By the end of the 1980s, venture capital returns were relatively low, particularly in comparison with their
    emerging leveraged buyout cousins, due in part to the competition for hot startups, excess supply of IPOs and the inexperience of many venture capital fund managers.

  • [10] The Small Business Investment Act of 1958 provided tax breaks that helped contribute to the rise of private-equity firms.

  • 1980s[edit] The public successes of the venture capital industry in the 1970s and early 1980s (e.g., Digital Equipment Corporation, Apple Inc., Genentech) gave rise to a major
    proliferation of venture capital investment firms.

  • Venture capital is also a way in which the private and public sectors can construct an institution that systematically creates business networks for the new firms and industries
    so that they can progress and develop.

  • These returns, and the performance of the companies post-IPO, caused a rush of money into venture capital, increasing the number of venture capital funds raised from about
    40 in 1991 to more than 400 in 2000, and the amount of money committed to the sector from $1.5 billion in 1991 to more than $90 billion in 2000.

  • Private-equity firms organized limited partnerships to hold investments in which the investment professionals served as general partner and the investors, who were passive
    limited partners, put up the capital.

  • Additionally, entrepreneurs may seek alternative financing, such as revenue-based financing, to avoid giving up equity ownership in the business.

  • Start-ups like Uber, Airbnb, Flipkart, Xiaomi & Didi Chuxing are highly valued startups, commonly known as Unicorns where venture capitalists contribute more than financing
    to these early-stage firms; they also often provide strategic advice to the firm’s executives on its business model and marketing strategies.

  • It was also in the 1960s that the common form of private-equity fund, still in use today, emerged.

  • In 1978, the US Labor Department relaxed certain restrictions of the ERISA, under the “prudent man rule”[note 2], thus allowing corporate pension funds to invest in the asset
    class and providing a major source of capital available to venture capitalists.

  • The investing cycle for most funds is generally three to five years, after which the focus is managing and making follow-on investments in an existing portfolio.

  • A venture capital fund refers to a pooled investment vehicle (in the United States, often an LP or LLC) that primarily invests the financial capital of third-party investors
    in enterprises that are too risky for the standard capital markets or bank loans.

  • [citation needed] Alternatives[edit] Because of the strict requirements venture capitalists have for potential investments, many entrepreneurs seek seed funding from angel
    investors, who may be more willing to invest in highly speculative opportunities, or may have a prior relationship with the entrepreneur.

  • Diagram of the structure of a generic venture capital fund Structure[edit] Venture capital firms are typically structured as partnerships, the general partners of which serve
    as the managers of the firm and will serve as investment advisors to the venture capital funds raised.

  • Venture capital investors sought to reduce the size of commitments they had made to venture capital funds, and, in numerous instances, investors sought to unload existing
    commitments for cents on the dollar in the secondary market.

  • [39] The study also reported that few VCs use any type of financial analytics when they assess deals; VCs are primarily concerned about the cash returned from the deal as
    a multiple of the cash invested.

  • [27] This need for high returns makes venture funding an expensive capital source for companies, and most suitable for businesses having large up-front capital requirements,
    which cannot be financed by cheaper alternatives such as debt.

  • [19] The advent of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s reinvigorated venture capital as investors saw companies with huge potential being formed.

  • • Start-up: Early stage firms that need funding for expenses associated with marketing and product development.

  • ARDC’s most successful investment was its 1957 funding of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), which would later be valued at more than $355 million after its initial public
    offering in 1968.

  • [citation needed] Venture capitalists are typically very selective in deciding what to invest in, with a Stanford survey of venture capitalists revealing that 100 companies
    were considered for every company receiving financing.

  • Venture capital funds are generally three in types:[34] • 1.

  • [11] During the 1950s, putting a venture capital deal together may have required the help of two or three other organizations to complete the transaction.

  • Investors in venture capital funds are known as limited partners.

  • [12] During the 1960s and 1970s, venture capital firms focused their investment activity primarily on starting and expanding companies.

  • As a result, venture capital came to be almost synonymous with technology finance.

  • • Second round: Working capital for early stage companies that are selling product, but not yet turning a profit.

  • However, as a percentage of the overall private-equity market, venture capital has still not reached its mid-1990s level, let alone its peak in 2000.

  • [36] This model was pioneered by successful funds in Silicon Valley through the 1980s to invest in technological trends broadly but only during their period of ascendance,
    and to cut exposure to management and marketing risks of any individual firm or its product.

  • By investing in the pool format, the investors are spreading out their risk to many different investments instead of taking the chance of putting all of their money in one
    start up firm.

  • The venture capitalist is often expected to bring managerial and technical expertise, as well as capital, to their investments.

  • Only after 1945 did “true” venture capital investment firms begin to emerge, notably with the founding of American Research and Development Corporation (ARDC) and J.H.

  • [49] ; Carried interest, A share of the profits of the fund, typically 20%, paid to the fund’s general partner as a performance incentive.

  • [35] Roles[edit] Within the venture capital industry, the general partners and other investment professionals of the venture capital firm are often referred to as “venture
    capitalists” or “VCs”.

  • [citation needed] Although the post-boom years represent just a small fraction of the peak levels of venture investment reached in 2000, they still represent an increase over
    the levels of investment from 1980 through 1995.

  • Venture capitalists take on the risk of financing risky start-ups in the hopes that some of the firms they support will become successful.

  • Growth in the venture capital industry remained limited throughout the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, increasing from $3 billion in 1983 to just over $4 billion more
    than a decade later in 1994.

  • These funds are typically managed by a venture capital firm, which often employs individuals with technology backgrounds (scientists, researchers), business training and/or
    deep industry experience.

  • [15] Venture capital firms suffered a temporary downturn in 1974, when the stock market crashed and investors were naturally wary of this new kind of investment fund.

  • Unlike most present-day venture capital firms, ARDC was a publicly-traded company.

  • [citation needed] Early venture capital and the growth of Silicon Valley[edit] A highway exit for Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California, where many Bay Area venture capital
    firms are based One of the first steps toward a professionally managed venture capital industry was the passage of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958.

  • In addition, some new private online networks are emerging to provide additional opportunities for meeting investors.

  • ARDC became the first institutional private-equity investment firm to raise capital from sources other than wealthy families.

  • [citation needed] Because investments are illiquid and require the extended time frame to harvest, venture capitalists are expected to carry out detailed due diligence prior
    to investment.

  • Then, if the firm can survive through the “valley of death”–the period where the firm is trying to develop on a “shoestring” budget–the firm can seek venture capital financing.

  • Sometimes a company very close to an IPO may allow some VCs to exit and instead new investors may come in hoping to profit from the IPO.


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