Venture Capital Firms

While the terms and conditions of venture capital are not standardized, there are some salient features of venture capital arrangements. The venture capital firm is inclined to assume a high degree of risk in the expectation of earning a high rate of return. The venture capital firm, in addition to providing funds, takes an active interest in guiding the assisted firm. The financial burden for the assisted firm tends to be negligible in the first few years. The venture capital firm normally plans to liquidate its investment in the assisted firm after 3 to 5 years. Typically, the promoter of the assisted firm is given the first option to acquire the equity investment held by the venture capital firm.Venture capital firms can raise funds from different sources. The important long-term sources of finance are issue of equity shares and preference shares, issue of debentures of different types, raising of term loans from financial institutions and generation of reserves. Venture capital firms may use different combinations of these sources by considering their relative cost and availability and their impact on the value of the firm. Accordingly, a company can have patterns of capital structure such as equity shares only, equity shares and preference shares, equity shares and debentures, equity shares and preference shares reserves, equity shares and preference shares debentures, equity shares and preference shares/debentures reserves.The capital structure of venture capital firms is influenced by number of factors such as trading on equity, growth and stability of sales. Trading on equity means the use of long-term, fixed interest bearing sources of finance along with equity capital. Adopting trading on equity can increase the return on equity. However, this is possible only when the return on investment is more than the cost of finance.