Venture capital financing is one of the important parts of IFC business.
We're working with leading companies of all sizes as well as with financial institutions and governmental agencies across the world, providing deep insight and ressources to help our clients succeed.
IFC Venture Capital
provides capital, know-how, management support and a large network of industry experts to selected new technology enterprises and innovative entrepreneurs in the life science and in the high technology sector of industry.
Venture capital (VC) is a form of financing provided by specialized investors, known as venture capitalists, to startups and early-stage companies that show potential for high growth and returns. Venture capital firms typically invest in businesses in exchange for equity ownership or convertible debt, with the expectation that these companies will generate substantial returns through an exit event such as an initial public offering (IPO) or acquisition.
- Venture capital can promote champions by providing start-ups with the necessary funding, expertise, and networks to grow and succeed. Start-ups often have innovative ideas but lack the resources to bring them to market. Venture capital firms invest in these start-ups in exchange for equity, which allows them to access the funding they need to develop their products or services.
- In addition to funding, venture capital firms also provide start-ups with expertise and guidance. They often have experience in building successful companies and can help start-ups navigate the challenges of scaling their businesses. This can include advice on product development, marketing, sales, and hiring.
- Finally, venture capital firms provide start-ups with access to networks of investors, customers, and partners. This can help start-ups expand their reach and find new opportunities for growth.
By providing these resources, venture capital firms can help start-ups digital champions - companies that are leaders in their industries and have a significant impact on the economy. Champions are often characterized by their ability to innovate quickly and disrupt traditional business models. USA and China countries have been successful in promoting innovation through venture capital investments, which has led to the emergence of companies such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba, and Tencent.
The process of venture capital can be broken down into several stages:
- Fundraising: Venture capital firms raise funds from institutional investors, such as pension funds, endowments, and high-net-worth individuals, to create a venture capital fund. This fund is then used to invest in promising startups and early-stage companies.
- Sourcing and deal flow: Venture capitalists actively search for potential investment opportunities through various channels, including business networks, referrals, industry events, and startup accelerators. The inflow of potential investment opportunities is referred to as deal flow.
- Screening and due diligence: Once a potential investment opportunity is identified, venture capitalists conduct a thorough evaluation of the company. This may involve assessing the founding team, market opportunity, competitive landscape, financials, and overall potential for growth and returns. This process is known as due diligence.
- Investment decision: If the due diligence process is positive, the venture capital firm decides whether to invest in the company. The investment terms, including valuation, equity stake, and other conditions, are negotiated between the venture capitalists and the company.
- Portfolio management: After investing, venture capitalists often provide strategic guidance, industry connections, and operational support to help the company grow. They may also have a seat on the company's board of directors, allowing them to influence key decisions.
- Exit strategy: Venture capital firms aim to exit their investments within a specific timeframe, typically 5 to 10 years. Exit strategies can include an IPO, acquisition, or secondary sale of shares. Successful exits generate returns for the venture capital firm and its limited partners.
- Distribution of returns: Once an exit event occurs, the venture capital firm distributes the returns to its limited partners, after deducting management fees and carried interest (typically around 20% of the profits). The remaining profits are then reinvested in new venture capital funds or distributed to the limited partners.
What do we do?
WE GET OUR CUSTOMERS READY
FOR GROWTH CAPITAL
We help our customers to adapt to the prerogatives of the capital market, thus greatly improving their chances of a successful raise of capital.
WE RAISE GROWTH
CAPITAL FOR OUR CUSTOMERS
We help our clients to structure and navigate through the capital raise procedure, guiding them at all times if necessary, through our own fully licensed financial structure and others. We often invest our own money together with other investors into promising projects.
WE HELP OUR CLIENTS DEPLOY
AND RAISE FURTHER ROUNDS
We are a firm that builds and cultivates long-term relationships with clients. Our clients profit from our continued engagement, optimising financial flow of capital, controlling mechanisms and vast industry expertise.
WE RAISE ALL TYPES OF CAPITAL
- Debt (senior, subordinated, mezzanine, cash-flow based);
- Equity (in partnership with licensed broker-dealers);
- Asset based finance (factoring and other A/R credit lines, capital and operating leases, mortgages & other)
- Trade finance (proof of funds, letters of credit, SBLCs or Bank Guarantees, purchase order and production financing, etc.
OUR SPECIAL STRENGTHS
- Strong international experience;
- expertise in cross-border transactions;
What you should do
Attracting venture capitalists (VCs) can be critical for startups and early-stage companies seeking growth capital. To catch the attention of VCs and increase the likelihood of securing funding, companies should consider the following strategies:
- Develop a compelling value proposition: Clearly articulate your company's unique selling points and demonstrate how it addresses a significant market need or pain point. This should include a scalable business model, a large target market, and a strong competitive advantage.
- Assemble a strong team: Venture capitalists often invest in people as much as they invest in ideas. A talented and experienced management team with a track record of success, relevant industry expertise, and strong execution capabilities can significantly boost a company's appeal.
- Prepare a robust business plan: A well-crafted business plan demonstrates the viability of your company and serves as a roadmap for future growth. It should include a detailed market analysis, competitive landscape, financial projections, go-to-market strategy, and a clear plan for scaling the business.
- Show traction and progress: Demonstrating market traction, such as increasing customer base, revenue growth, or key partnerships, can provide evidence of your company's potential. This can help validate your business model and show that you are capable of executing your strategy.
- Build a strong network: Establish relationships with entrepreneurs, investors, and industry influencers who can provide introductions or referrals to venture capitalists. Participating in industry events, conferences, and startup accelerators can help expand your network and increase visibility.
- Polish your pitch: A persuasive and engaging pitch is essential for capturing the interest of venture capitalists. Focus on the most compelling aspects of your business, and be prepared to address potential concerns or objections. Practice your pitch to ensure it is concise, clear, and well-delivered.
- Demonstrate financial discipline: Venture capitalists want to see that you can manage resources effectively and make informed financial decisions. Maintain detailed financial records, set realistic budgets, and show that you are using existing funds efficiently.
- Focus on unit economics: Positive unit economics—meaning the revenue generated per customer is greater than the cost of acquiring and serving that customer—indicate a healthy and sustainable business model. VCs are more likely to invest in companies with strong unit economics, as it suggests potential for scalability and profitability.
- Showcase adaptability and resilience: The ability to adapt to changing market conditions and overcome challenges is crucial for startup success. Share examples of how your company has navigated difficult situations or pivoted its strategy to demonstrate your team's resilience and problem-solving capabilities.
- Align with VC investment criteria: Research venture capital firms to identify those that invest in your industry, stage of development, and geographic region. Tailor your pitch to align with their investment thesis and focus areas, and highlight aspects of your company that are most relevant to their interests.
What to consider in order to finance a start-up
Creating a robust documentation package for prospective investors is a vital step in securing funding for a start-up. Here’s a detailed list of documents, each serving a distinct purpose in substantiating the business idea and operational strategy:
- Executive Summary: A concise overview of the business, illustrating the concept, the market need, and how the startup intends to fulfill that need.
- Business Plan: A comprehensive document elucidating the business model, market analysis, competition, financial projections, marketing strategy, and operational plan.
- Pitch Deck: A visually engaging presentation summarizing the business idea and plan, tailored for quick digestion by potential investors.
- Financial Projections: Detailed financial forecasts including profit & loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and break-even analysis for the next 3-5 years.
- Market Analysis: Thorough research on the target market, customer personas, market trends, and competitive landscape.
- Marketing and Sales Strategy: Documentation of the go-to-market strategy, sales channels, pricing, and customer acquisition plans.
- Technical Documentation (if applicable): Documents detailing the technical aspects of the product, including specifications, features, and architecture diagrams.
- Intellectual Property Documentation: Documentation of patents, trademarks, copyrights, or any other intellectual property associated with the business.
- Founding Team Bios: Profiles of the founding team members, showcasing their qualifications, experience, and roles within the start-up.
- Advisory Board Bios (if applicable): Profiles of advisory board members, if any, and how their expertise complements the startup’s mission.
- Cap Table: A table displaying the ownership structure of the company, including shares held by founders, employees, and investors.
- Term Sheet: A document specifying the terms and conditions under which an investment would be made.
- Customer Testimonials*(if available): Feedback or endorsements from pilot customers or clients which validate the startup’s value proposition.
- Legal and Regulatory Compliance Documents: Documentation proving the startup's compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
- Product Demos or Prototypes: Demonstrations or prototypes of the product or service, which offer tangible proof of concept to investors.
- Additionally, having a contingency plan to exhibit how the startup plans to mitigate risks and handle unforeseen challenges could also be beneficial.
This list is comprehensive but not exhaustive. The exact requirements may vary based on the nature of the business, the industry, and our preferences.
With our product COMINVEST 2020s support, our portfolio companies can significantly accelerate their growth or if they are a start-up their entry into the market and prepare for rapid growth.
IFC and the entrepreneurs become business partners, sharing in both the successes as well as the possible failures. If the venture succeeds, IFC benefits by selling its shares or participation (the “exit”). If the venture fails, both IFC and the entrepreneurs loose their invested time and capital; the entrepreneurs incur no additional liabilities. The exit occurs either by going public, selling to an industrial partner, or by the entrepreneurs buying back their shares or participation.