Have you ever heard the terms “venture capital” or “private equity?” Well, if you are starting a business, you will need to know what kinds of investors you need to contact and the difference between venture capital, private equity, debt capital, and how investors are categorized. You will also need to know about what conditions different forms of capital is distributed to aspiring entrepreneurs.
What is debt capital? Well, you capitalforbusiness can think of debt financing as a loan from a bank that you have to pay back with interest. In reality, that’s exactly what debt capital is. Many entrepreneurs often resort to getting some debt financing to start their business. Debt capital, depending on its size, can be obtained from your regular bank or if it is a large sum of money, you might have to go to a special bank known as an investment bank. As far as the investor who is giving you the debt capital is concerned, debt financing is a much lower risk investment compared to equity capital. This is because debt capital is funding that is lent to you, just like as if you are taking a loan out for a car or a mortgage on your home.
What is the interest rate on debt capital? In most cases, when in investor who invests debt capital to a budding company, he expects to make at least ten percent off of the sum that was invested into a given company. Furthermore, debt financing is usually given to those entrepreneurs, who the investor believes is most likely believes will pay the debt off in due time.
Equity capital, on the other hand, is different because unlike debt capital; you do not need to pay anything back to the investor. Equity capital is funding that practically every company gains as its business grows. Equity is usually invested out of a particular fund and is classified as either private equity and venture capital.
Private Equity and Venture Capital
Basically, private equity is an equity fund that belongs to either privately owned institutions or private individuals. Usually private equity is invested by institutional investors, who are people that specialize in investing private equity from such institutions. Institutional investors usually work for a private equity or PE firm that manages private equity. Venture capital is also private equity but is managed slightly differently than private equity. Venture capital is actually private equity that is usually reserved for investments to companies that have the potential for high growth.
For those of you who need financing and do not want to have to worry about debts, you would like to have some kind of equity capital, be it private equity or venture capital. This funding is much better than debt capital, because unlike debt capital, you do not have to pay the investors back. Instead, with equity funding, an investor makes money when a company cashes out. This usually means that when a company is bought by another company or is prepared for public offering, that is when equity firms make their money. The other side of the coin, however, equity capital is a much more risky investment for the investor than debt financing, because with equity capital, an investor makes money only with a buyout, initiate public offering or IPO, or an exit strategy.
As mentioned before, there are different investors and investing institutions. Some investors are wealthy individuals who invest their own money to entrepreneurs whom they like, whereas others work for institutions, such as private equity or venture capital firms and invest money from their institutional funds.
Angel investors are wealthy private individuals who invest their money into a given entrepreneur for whatever reason. Some angel investors invest in a particular company because they might like that particular entrepreneur or feels charitable and wants to share their own entrepreneurial experience with other budding entrepreneurs to get on their feet. Other angels might invest in a company because a particular company might fit into that angel investor’s values, ethics, or other personal interests. If you have a wealthy relative and he invests in your company simply because he wants to help out a member in his family, he is also an angel investor.
Venture Capitalists and Institutional Investors
Unlike angel investors, venture capitalists and institutional investors do not invest their own money. Institutional investors usually work for a private equity firm and invest equity from funds that are usually parts of a pension fund or other types of funds. Venture capitalists are investors who solely invest in venture capital and work for venture capital firms.
Where Does the Money Come From?
Well, that is a good question. In the case with most successful private equity and venture capital firms, the money for investments comes from venture funds that these firms have raised. When a venture capital or private equity firm is successful with their investments, they are able to raise new funds for future investments. Again, as mentioned before, equity investors cash in on their investments when a company is liquidated by either being bought out from another company, etc.
How Do You Contact Investors?
There are many ways you can contact investors, but any way you look at it, the task involves a lot of finger walking. There are directories available that can help you find investors easily. One of these databases is the VCgate Venture Capital Database, which can be found at www.vcgate.com.
Ivan Faucon writes about venture capital and entrepreneurs. He will also occasionally write about other business topics, such as consumer goods, jewelry, and internet marketing.