Venture Capital – And Other Funding Options For Your Business

When is the right time to consider VC or Private Equity for your enterprise? Initially every entrepreneur needs to first see if they have exhausted all other options first. Typically, a company would be low on equity when considering private investors. There are however multiple sources of equity capital, including, Friends & Family, Business Angels, VC’s, Corporate/Strategic Investors, Private Equity companies or The Entrepreneur’s own capital.

For those seeking capital of $500k+ look for VC. For smaller investments, entrepreneurs should seek a Business Angel or Debt Capital. An understanding of the different types of funding stages is therefore useful so see below.

Pre-seed funding is funding that is needed prior to physically construct the enterprise. Usually this funding goes to putting together a good business plan that can impress potential investors.

Seed funding is funding that is required to start building the company. It is possible that some companies could if appropriate skip this funding phase, but seed capital is usually the capital that is required to get the basics for a start-up. Usually at seed stage, a company is not yet ready to open for business, and this funding is usually used to rent office space, real estate, equipment needed to produce the company’s product or service

Seed funding is less commonly invested by VC’s and is not necessarily a large amount of funding. Seed funding can range from $100k-$500k. Rarely does it exceed $1m. Seed capital can also be raised from a Business Angel, Friends and Family or the Entrepreneur’s own funds. Only 15% to 25% of VC’s invest in seed funding.

Early stage funding is usually where VC is sought. A company is usually ready to trade but requires additional capital for salaries.

Later stage funding is also known as expansion/growth stage funding is for companies who are doing well and are seeking to expand.

There are numerous ways that entrepreneurs raise seed capital to get started. These conventional ways include raising debt capital from a business lender, merchant bank or angel investor who are willing to invest seed capital into the business. Other more ingenious entrepreneurs raise seed capital through raising debt capital, sweat equity and funding from friends and family. VC is usually raised with early stage funding, i.e. as above, series A or series B funding. In most cases, VC’s will not invest less than $1 million in a company.

Understand these and you will be off to a good start and be taken seriously.

Invest $100 Dollars and Grow Enough Seed Capital to Start Your Own Business

Do you have ideas for a business you want to start but do not have the seed capital it takes to get your business idea off the ground? Are you tired of being turned down for small business loans because of your credit or financial status? There is a way you can grow enough seed capital to start your own business and even build a substantial income. If a sixteen-year-old can do it with his lawnmower in one month, then so can you!

One summer day I observed my neighbor’s teenage son as he went door to door with his lawnmower offering to cut grass in our neighborhood. I asked him how many lawns he had cut that week and he said four and needed two more to make $120 dollars. I admired the young man’s determination and ambition and I asked him if he was saving for anything in particular. He told me he wanted to buy a car that cost $1200 dollars that he hoped to have saved by the end of summer.

My neighbor’s son didn’t realize that what he was doing was similar to the concept of compounding money. If he repeated cutting the lawns of the neighbors that paid him weekly and added one more lawn per day each week, his money would grow exponentially. His $120 dollars from the first week of cutting one lawn a day would double the second week to $240 dollars; by adding one more a day the third week to $360 dollars and by the fourth week he would make $480 dollars for his week’s labor. His earnings for four weeks would have totaled $1200 dollars. If he thought he could make enough to buy his car by adding one lawn a day, six days a week, for four weeks, I’m sure he would have done it without any problem. Otherwise, it would take him the entire summer at $120 dollars a week to make his $1200 dollars to buy his car.

This is how compounding your money works. The goal is to take the initial investment and increase it by 30% or higher. Using this example, the first $120 dollars never left the young man’s pocket; his investment object (which was his physical labor) increased his investment ten times by adding to his weekly earnings. He would have earned ten times his initial goal of $120 dollars a week in just four weeks, a 1,000% return!

Imagine if this was your $120 dollars that you started with as your initial investment. The difference being, instead of doing a laborious type work for your money to grow, you used the internet to find investment objects with intrinsic value that you could purchase. You would have enough of a profit margin built-in to locate buyers to purchase your investment object that would give you a Return On Investment (ROI) of 30% or higher. The key to this method of compounding money is to repeat this process by reinvesting your profits back into purchasing objects of greater market value and reselling for a higher ROI.

The great thing about compounding is you can start with whatever amount of money you have to work with. You can start with $100 dollars and build enough seed capital to start two or three businesses. Use the internet to search for investment opportunities that you can invest in and build on. If a sixteen-year-old can do it with his lawnmower, you have a much greater advantage; you don’t need a lawnmower as your tool, you just need the knowledge and then the skill. Knowledge can be acquired, and the skill will come through experience. So gather together your initial start-up capital and get started!

Profound Capital Markets for Renewable Energy – Eco-Plant Corporation

Investing in Renewable and Efficiency Energy is on the verge across the world. Individuals are becoming more sensible towards their environment, which resulted in more businesses adopting environmentally friendly business practices and becoming a sustainable green business. Converting into green business has been a wakeup call for many companies and for some companies it was already a mentioned market trend which was recognized by them quite early.

Following the global financial crisis, a more varied funding market is emerging in many countries. Established investors are assisting in filling the funding gap missed by the shrinkage in bank lending in the rouse of the crisis, particularly in long-term financing for infrastructure projects, and sitting alongside banks to offer a wider pool of capital to developers.

The economic climate overcoming the financial crisis of increased regulatory supervision and persistently low rate of interest led to pension funds and insurance companies in seeking an alternative source for a long-term stable investment.

Abundant number of pieces of evidence shows that renewable energy and energy efficiency are booming sectors for business. According to a report, 190 of the fortune 500 companies together saved around 3.7 billion dollars through their energy efficiency initiatives and collective renewable energy.

With the growing streak of this trend around the world, there is an increase in debt finance in the market from established investors mostly for an infrastructure project and more conventional renewable energy assets including solar PV, onshore wind and Bioenergy. Established investors that are on a quest to match long-term investments, index-linked liabilities and higher secure returns as compared to currently available bonds, are attracted by stable, long-term and index-linked type of assets.

A considerable amount of investment has been made in operating assets through which increasing capacity of risk has been taken by the investors. However, similar to banks, there seems to be a very little appetite for development risk factors. Established investors are moving faster towards banking counterparts in being able to provide reimbursement profiles and staged drawdown facilities that are suitable for this kind of financial markets.

Investments from non-bank institutions have often been through the purchase of participation in the secondary debt trading market or bond markets. However, a market of debt facilitates private placement (PP) which is a small group of sophisticated investors has been slowly developing.

Private placement market will entirely substitute other forms of finances for renewable projects. There are already long-established private placement market groups in many countries for corporate debt. Since the financial crisis, smaller national markets have also developed. To help encourage the development of private placement market, loan market association published a suite of standardizing the documentation for private placements across many countries for providing a proper framework. It is hoped that these suit will help to raise confidence in the market and will encourage investment by reducing the time and costs often associated with current private placements in certain countries.

Certain efforts are taken to simplify and make the process more transparent by turning towards more private placements. Governments across various countries have announced a tax exemption for private placements, this will help in encouraging both borrowers and institutional investors to invest in the capital market.

Many countries now support the growth of renewable energy sector and help in encouraging to further invest in energy infrastructure, renewable power and fossil fuels. Attracting cross-border investment and minimizing dependency on traditional bank debt, will further encourage institutional investment for key sector helping to stimulate growth and aid resilience in various economies.

Banks are also returning to the market which showed a substantial increase in long-term debt facilities offered by banks for renewable energy projects. In addition, many banking facilities are likely to preserve a significant role together with established investors by providing them ancillary facilities and deposit services. This includes catering to letters from credit facilities and working capital which non-banking investors are not able to provide the investors with. Likewise, the role of the bank is to provide trustee and agency with services in case the funds are ill-equipped.

Predictable sustained growth in Institutional Investment, alongside returning bank debt and other innovative funding structures, is creating a deeper impact on the capital market for renewable energy projects. Investors looking to invest in green business are coming across greater opportunities from future perspectives which is just a matter of time. Clean energy is just the tip of the iceberg. A recent study shows that companies could earn around 12 trillion dollars by 2030 in business revenue and saving by adopting sustainable, low-carbon business models. Investors all over the world are taking a note, as green bonds are increasingly seen as smart investments.

Ways to Raise Venture Capital to Start a New Business

Centuries back there was a time when people used to exchange goods for their livelihood and there was no money to buy things, known by the name of, “Barter System”. There was no buying or selling during those days. If you want “Wheat” and you had “Pulses” you could very well exchange the same with the vendor who had “Wheat” by negotiating a deal with him for exchange.

Then came an era when people starting working for others to earn money to run their livelihood. This further developed into Jobs from Government and Private Sector.

Now is the time when everyone enchants to open his own venture owing to establish something of his own and develop an empire which manifolds into a profitable venture as said “The Best income is even when you are sleeping the investment grows”.

An Idea of yours in today’s scenario can create a ripple effect which can change the lives of many. Very live examples are organisation like Facebook, Whatsapp, Google which started with a very small idea and from a room and have created an empire which inspires the Entrepreneur’s to create a Value Addition not only for them through Profit but for the Society too.

Many Starts up have started mushrooming in India now with many business ideas but they lack the rock bottom things and fail even though the business idea is too great. Inspite of the fact that they have best of people, knowledge, resources, ideas available to them but still they have tumbled. Very Live Example is Organisation like Snapdeal etc.

An Idea Flourishes when you have the Business Idea pitched to the Right People with Right Knowledge with effective and strong persuasion skills to invest money with the returns they would be getting. Firstly the Entreprenuer himself needs to be convinced that it is a great and a profitable Venture.

Second Important Thing which Start up lack is Hiring the Right and Suitable Candidates. Branding Institutes like IIM /IITs do bring in good resources but they cost very heavily to the organisation. Its always essential to hire people with experience rather than branding institutes. Experience people turn around organisation as they know how to manage crisis, success of an idea comes with experience and experience comes with learning, you know how to turn failures as these people have already experienced it.

Maintain Low Cost and Invest heavily in your people is the Right Idea for the Start ups.

Wanna Know do get in touch with me at

How to Calculate Liquidation Preference in a Startup Business Venture Capital Financing Term Sheet

What is liquidation preference?

Liquidation preference refers to preferred shareholders’ rights to receive a certain amount for the preferred shares they hold in preference to common shareholders in the event that the company goes into liquidation.

The scope of liquidation preference varies between different term sheets. Some may be extremely favorable to investors, some may be less. However, the purpose of liquidation preference is such that in the event a company goes into liquidation, preferred shareholders will always get something back for their preferred shares before common shareholders get anything. In other words, they will always get more than common shareholders. It is possible that common shareholders will get nothing if the company does not even have enough assets to settle the preference amount.

Example A:

Venture Tech Ltd. has 5,000,000 common shares outstanding.

In a Series A financing, Investors A invests $2,000,000 in return for 2,500,000 Series A Preferred Shares (i.e., purchase price per share = $0.8).

The term sheet of this Series A round provides that:

In the event of a liquidation event, the preferred shareholders will be entitled to receive in preference to common shareholders an amount equal to 2 times the purchase price per share, plus declared and unpaid dividends (the “Initial Payment”). After the Initial Payment has been made in full, any assets remaining shall be distributed to the preferred shareholders (on an as-converted basis) and common shareholders on a pro rata basis.

NOW, Venture Tech Ltd. goes into liquidation and the sale price is US$6 million.

Assuming no declared and unpaid dividends, and all other senior debts, e.g., employees’ wages, secured debts, etc., have all been settled:

How much will the preferred shareholders get?

They first get US$0.8 x 2 = US$1.6 for every preferred shares they hold.

Therefore, the Initial Payment is US$1.6 x 2.5 million = US$4 million.

This gives US$2 million ($6 – $4 million) remaining, which shall be distributed to the preferred shareholders and common shareholders on a pro rata basis.

Therefore, preferred shareholders will get a further US$2 million x 2.5 / 7.5 = US$666,666.

I.e., a total of US$4,666.666.

The common shareholders will get a total of US$2 million x 4 / 7.5 = US$1.333,333.

Total = US$4,666,666 + US$1,333,333 = US$6 million

Example B:

Following example A above, let’s say this time the sale price is US$10 million.

They will get a total of $4 million (the Initial Payment) + $6 million x 2.5 / 7.5 = $6 million

The common shareholders will get a total of $4 million.

Example C (company favored):

Let’s give it a twist. This time everything is the same as above except that the total amount the preferred shareholders will get for each preferred share they hold is capped at 4 times the purchase price per share.

In other words, they first get 2 times the purchase price per share in preference to common shareholders (i.e., the Initial Payment as in Example A and B). All remaining assets will then be distributed among them and common shareholders until the preferred shareholders have received 4 times the purchase price per share (plus unpaid but declared payment, and the Initial Payment). All remaining assets thereafter will be distributed among all common shareholders on a pro rata basis.

NOW, let’s do the math:

Putting aside the sale price, since the maximum total amount the preferred shareholders can get is capped at 4 times the purchase price per price, they in any event will get no more than 4 x $2 million = $8 million (however high the sale price may be).

What is the break even point for the sale price?

Let y be the break even sale price:

(y – 4) (2.5 / 7.5) = 8 – 4

y = 16

Therefore, the break even sale price is US$16 million.

Therefore, the sale price must be at least US$16 million for the preferred shareholders to get US$8 million. If the sale price exceeds US$16 million, they will still get only US8 million, since the maximum amount they can get is capped.

That’s why by setting a cap on the liquidation amount the preferred shareholders can get is company-favored.

Small Business Venture Capital Strategies

When launching a new small business, often the entrepreneur will consider venture capital as a source of funding. Here are 3 tips to ensure that venture capital funding can be secured when sending out your business plan:

  1. Send your business plan to the right people
  2. Venture capitalists tend to specialize in certain kinds of businesses. Some will specialize by industry, only investing in new energy companies, for instance, while others look for a certain size of company to invest in. It is worth doing the research to determine who the venture capital backers are for your industry, before you start sending out your business plan. Venture capitalists who are not specific to your industry can provide recommendations to make your plan more appealing to other venture capitalists. However, it would naturally be a mistake to send your plan to potential investors who will not even consider it.

  3. Make sure your business has the potential to be profitable enough
  4. Most venture capitalists look for a return of about 5-10 times their initial investment. For example, an investment in a company of $2 million should yield a return of $14-20 million after about five years. To satisfy these requirements, it is generally necessary to have a business which has the potential for a high rate of return on the amount invested. If the rate of return can reasonably be expected to be lower, such as for a clothing retailer, then it is probably better to look for an alternate source of funding, such as an investment or commercial bank.

  5. Remember to include an exit strategy for your investor
  6. Venture capitalists generally do not want to be involved with a new venture for an indefinite period of time. Most will plan to leave the new venture after about five years, so you should offer a clear explanation of how this may be achieved. There can be a variety of reasons for this; some venture capital managers require that the holdings periodically be sold off to acquire other offerings. Nonetheless, by demonstrating that you understand the limited time frame for many venture capitalists, you automatically make your plan more appealing than those which do not.

In summary, by sending your business plan to the right people, by recognizing what rate of return is necessary for venture capitalist involvement, and by including an exit strategy, you can improve your odds of securing venture capital funding for a new and growing business.

Raising Start Up Capital For Your Small Business

You have your business idea, your business plan in tow, your ducks in a row, and you’re ready to get your business off the ground except for one problem – you have no start up capital. Unless you were born into wealth and have it at your disposal, then you are like most small businesses and need a helping hand.

How can you raise start up capital? There are a few ways to go about it:

Small Business Bank Loans

Many financial institutions provide some type of small business loan program. In order to get funding from a bank for your small business, you will need a solid business plan. You’ll have to prove that your business will generate enough cash to make the loan payments. Each bank’s requirements are different but if you are able to articulate how you will succeed, have decent credit, and possibly a co-signer, you may be able to secure a small business bank loan.

SBA (Small Business Administration)

The SBA is a great resource that provides information on requirements, credit factors, how to apply for loans, etc. The web site is a good starting point before attempting to apply at a bank. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be when you begin the application process.

Family & Friends

A lot of small businesses raise start up capital this way. Family and friends usually want you to succeed and believe in your business. It is wise to treat these relationships as real business relationships. Plan how you will repay their loans, the time frame, and at what interest rate.

Angel Investors & Venture Capital Firms

Private angel investors and venture capital firms work primarily in the same way. They invest in the equity of your business and expect a return in the form of an acquisition, IPO, or stock buy back in the future.

The key to any of the above methods is to have a well written business plan. A good business plan will prove that you are serious about your business and that you can demonstrate the way you plan on making it successful.

Use Crowdfunding If You Need Capital For Your Small Business

Crowdfunding campaigns may offer a lot of benefits to small businesses. They can help startups get access to a pool of prospective investors and several fundraising options. Although raising funds is always the primary purpose of these campaigns, you may also use these campaigns to gain visibility, customers, and success. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at some of the primary benefits of crowdfunding for small businesses. Read on to find out more.

1. Efficiency

If you are struggling to build your business and raise capital, you may not afford to pursue conventional financing requirements. In this case, it’s better to set up a crowdfunding campaign on a good platform. These platforms can help you get your message across to a lot of people.

These platforms can help you tell your story and benefit from a focal location that may get you a lot of potential investors.

2. High visibility

Good crowdfunding platforms enjoy high exposure. So, if you run your fundraising campaign on this type of platform, you can have social proof and validation for your prospective investors. And this will build a chain of investors for your startup. And this is what you want to grow your business.

3. Crowdsourced brainstorming

Crowdfunding offers an opportunity for you to brainstorm in order to refine your ideas. The basis of a new business is to look for something that your prospective customers may need. And you can brainstorm ideas to meet that need.

So, what you need to do is grab that opportunity and get customer feedback while putting together a plan for your startup. Crowdfunding can help you get closer to your prospective customers. This way you can engage your customers and field ideas, feedback, complaints, and questions.

4. Loyal advocates and early adopters

Crowdfunding can help you get in touch with early adopters and brand advocates. And these people believe in your product, service, or story. Therefore, they are willing to put their money into the longevity and success of your startup.

They will play an important role in making your crowdfunding campaign a success. Plus, they will get the word out about your success with their friends, family, and members of social networks.

5. Media exposure

Press coverage can attract a lot of potential investors to your campaign. Plus, it can help you raise awareness about your brand. You can achieve these goals through a print publication, blog, or a popular news station.

For instance, a feature story on a social network, such as Twitter can create a snowball effect and bring a lot of investors to you.

In short, crowdfunding has become an ideal way of validating businesses and looking for early adopters and investors. So, if you are looking to reap all these benefits, we suggest that you use a good crowdfunding platform.

Working Capital Financing – Why Asset Based Lines of Credit Work

How can Canadian business owners and financial mangers secure working capital financing and cash flow financing for their business at a time when it seems that access to business financing provides significant challenges?

The answer is that a potential solid solution exists by the name of an ‘asset based line of credit ‘otherwise what we call a ‘working capital facility’. What is this type of financing is it new to Canada, and more importantly – how does it work and what are the benefits and risks?

Although asset based lenders tend to be specialized independent finance firms many business people are surprised to find that deep in the bowels of a few Canadian bank there exists small, somewhat boutique, divisions who specialize in asset based lending. Ironically they are many times competing with their peers down the hall in more traditional commercial corporate banking.

The most active assets these firms finance tend to be ongoing receivables and inventory, but in many cases, utilizing an expert advisor or partner you can structure a facility that also includes a component of equipment and real estate.

Generally speaking a good way to think of an asset based line of credit is one that for a temporary period, typically a year or so in our experience, allows you to margin up and get higher advances on receivables and inventory. That translates into more cash flow and working capital.

One of the main attractions of an asset based lending facility (insiders call it an ABL facility) is that your firms overall credit quality doesn’t play the largest role in determining if you can get approved for this type of financing. As its name suggest, financing is on your ‘assets ‘! And doesn’t really focus on debt to equity ratios, cash flow coverage, loan covenants, and outside collateral. Business owners who borrow from Canadian chartered banks on an operating or term loan basis are of course very familiar with those terms – in some ways we could call them ‘ restrictions ‘

Most lawyers and accountants will tell you that any type of business borrowing should in fact be entertained only with a respected, trusted and credible business financing advisor who can guide you through the roadblocks and pitfalls of any commercial financing arrangement. Missteps in business financing can lead to long term negative effects around such issues as being locked into a facility, giving up too much collateral, or being locked into pricing that isn’t commensurate with your overall asset and credit quality.

What are the key issues you should consider when considering such a financing facility? Primarily they are:

-Advances rates on each asset category (A/R, inventory/equipment)

– How is pricing defined (asset based lines of credit and ABL lending is general is more generous in overall facility size, but you should ensure you are only paying for what you use

– Contractual obligation – in a perfect world (we know its not!) you should be focusing on the ability to pay out at any time, or at a minimum with some form of nominal breakage fee

– Ensure that the asset based lending facility, which generally costs more, will allow to you remain or focus on profitability; we spend a significant amount of time with clients on how that can defer the additional costs of Abl facilities by several different strategies

So whats the bottom line. As always it’s simple – consider asset based lending and an ABL facility as a solid alternative for financing your business. Work with a trusted advisor as this type of financing is generally either mi understood or not too well known in Canada. Be selective in structuring your facility around issues that work best for your firm re benefits derived.That’s solid business financing sense.

Exit mobile version