Venture capital is a source of financing for new businesses. Venture capital funds pool investors’ cash and loan it to startup companies with long-term growth potential. This type of funding startups typically involves high risk and potentially high returns for the investor.
Most venture capital comes from groups of wealthy investors, investment banks and other financial institutions that teams such investments. This form of raising capital is popular among new companies with a limited operating history that cannot take sufficient loan from commercial banks. Often, venture firms will also provide start-ups with managerial or technical expertise. For entrepreneurs, venture capitalists are a vital source of financing, but the cash infusion often comes at a high price. Venture firms often take large equity positions in exchange for funding and may also require representation on the start-up’s board.
Angel investors are most often individuals who want to help other entrepreneurs get their businesses kick off and gain a high return also on the investment.
- Seed. The first stage of venture capital financing. Seed-stage financings are often comparatively modest amounts of capital provided to inventors or entrepreneurs to finance the early development of a new product or service. These early financings may be directed toward product development, market research and building a strong technical and management team. A genuine seed-stage company has usually not yet established commercial operations – a cash inflow to keep on operating is vital.
- Early Stage. For companies that are able to begin operations but have not sold anything yet, early stage financing supports a step up in capabilities. Supports product development and initial marketing. Start-up financing provides funds to companies for product development and initial marketing.
- Developmental Stage. Financing includes seed stage and early stage.
- Later Stage. Capital provided after commercial operation, when cash flow exist, but before any initial public offering. The product or service is commercially available. The company demonstrates significant revenue growth, but may or may not be showing a profit.
- Balanced stage. Financing refers to all the stages.