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Venture Capital

What is Venture Capital?

Venture capital is the funding of start-up companies and small businesses by investors whom believe in their long-term growth potential. Given that start-ups lack the access to capital markets, venture capital enables these small firms to receive the necessary funding. Venture capital is becoming an increasingly popular source for raising capital, given the limited funding available from other debt instruments or loans that require hard-asset backing. It is key to the innovation life cycle- which is the beginning to a company’s commercialization of its innovation.

Venture capital generally comes from high-income earning investors (Angel Investors), investment banks or any institutions that pool similar partnerships or investments. The funding can then be provided in the form of money, and/or it can be in the form of technical or managerial expertise.

It is important to keep in mind that for investors, the risk of investing in such firms is high. However, what makes the investment attractive is the potential above-average returns.

Some examples of notable VC Firms include firms like Sequoia Capital (browse Sequoia Capital Tools) and Garage Technology Ventures (browse GTV Tools), that provide their expertise here on Eloquens.

What is the process to get an investment from a Venture Capital Firm?

Before funding, businesses need to submit a business plan presentation deck (or a short summary presenting their vision and the company) and a dedicated Venture Capital Financial Model either to the venture capital firm or to an angel investor. If the party is interested in the proposal, the firm/investor performs due diligence, meaning a thorough investigation of the business model, product, management and operating history (including many other aspects of the firm). Once this stage is done, the firm/investor will request equity for the investment in exchange for fresh cash and other assets provided to the company. This thus enables investors to potentially have an active role in the company should this be via the board of directors, as mentors or as simple advisors. Some investors also prefer to remain passive in agreement with the start-up founders. The capital is provided in rounds, meaning many financial rounds occur to ensure that the venture is meeting the milestones required before receiving the next round of capital. The investor ultimately exits the company through either mergers, acquisition or Initial public offering (IPO) after an average period of 4-6 years.

The Harvard Business review estimates that 80% of the money invested by Venture Capitalists goes into the building of infrastructure and the acquisition of resources necessary to grow the organization- in expense investments (manufacturing, marketing, and sales) and the balance sheet (providing fixed assets and working capital).

Is Venture Capital Financial Model always the best source of funding for a start-up?

While the Venture Capital Model is an excellent source of capital and advice, it must not be forgotten that, according to many professionals in the entrepreneurial world, receiving an investment from a VC Firm can also be detrimental for a start-up’s success. For example, the investment can significantly increase an organisation’s financial risk level, reduce the founders’ control of the organisation, and reduce the overall flexibility in strategy and operations. This is mainly due, for example to:

  • o Higher levels of investments in infrastructure and HR resources despite high risk levels
  • o Compulsory “aggressive” legal clauses to receive the investment provided by VC firms to minimise their exposure to financial risk (eg: ratchet clauses, progressive liberation of capital according to objectives etc.)
  • o Loss of power: though alliances with other investors can be made, founders can mathematically lose their majority stake and voting power and independence on the board (<50% of votes).
  • o Some VC professionals can be misleading in their strategic advice as there can be strong discrepancies that can progressively appear between the VC’s objectives (ie: generating high financial returns in 4-6 years) and the entrepreneur’s objective (building a great solution to a tough to tackle issue).

Therefore, according to a start-up’s situation and needs, before thinking about getting an investment from a VC, it is sometimes better to:

  • o get investments from Private Individuals or Angel Investors to split equity and power
  • o postpone the investment to a later stage
  • o generate cash generating revenues to fund the activity needing cash
  • o build a network of advisors and mentors who do not have a significant equity stake and voting power
  • o get a loan from a bank or grants from specific organisations

Where can I download Venture Capital Financial Models, pitch decks and cap tables?

As per given above, there is a variety of venture capital financial models needed both to evaluate the potential investment made by an investor/firm and for firms to make themselves attractive as an investment. On Eloquens, authors have provided both to investors and entrepreneurs a variety of venture capita financial excel models such as business plans, PowerPoint pitch decks, excel cap tables, excel VC financial models and valuation templates (and much more) that help you in doing just that.

To learn more about the Venture Capital Financial Model, click on the following links:

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