Browse Definitions:
Definition

venture capital (VC)

Venture capital (VC) is funding invested, or available for investment, in an enterprise that offers the probability of profit along with the possibility of loss.

Venture capital is one type of risk capital. However, VCs often don't tend to think that their investments involve an element of risk, but are assured a successful return on investment (ROI) by virtue of the investor's knowledge and business sense. DataMerge, a financial information provider, says that VC investments in an enterprise are usually between $500,000 and $5 million, and that the investor is likely to expect an annual return of 20 to 50 percent.

Venture capitalists were instrumental in the enormous increase in the number of dotcom startups in the mid-to-late 1990s. Because the Internet was a relatively new and untried business venue with enormous potential, many analysts feel that standard business rules were too frequently suspended in what was a very optimistic market. Internet-based enterprises were expected to enjoy unprecedented success; many venture capitalists were said to have encouraged dot-coms to focus on scaling upward rather than on realizing early profits. According to VentureWire, U.S. venture capital funding for 2000 was $105 billion, more than the total funding available in all the 15 years before that. However, in April of that same year, severe market corrections brought about a radical change in the financial climate, and then online businesses began failing at rates similar to the rates of startups in the early days of the dot-com boom. Vulture capitalist, a term coined in the volatile financial environment of the 1980s, was revived to refer to the venture capitalists that began to buy up failing dot-com enterprises at rock-bottom prices to exploit for profit.

Venture capital is the second or third stage of a traditional startup financing sequence, which starts with the entrepreneurs putting their own available funding into a shoestring operation. Next, an angel investor may be convinced to contribute funding. Generally an angel investor is someone with spare funds and some personal or industry-related interest - angels are sometimes said to invest "emotional money," while venture capitalists are said to invest "logical money" - that is willing to help give the new enterprise a more solid footing. First-round venture capital funding involves a significant cash outlay and managerial assistance. Second-round venture capital involves a larger cash outlay and instructions to a stock or initial public offering (IPO) underwriter, who will sell stock in exchange for a percentage of what is sold. Finally, in the IPO stage, an investment bank is commissioned to sell shares to the public.

In the currently sober economic climate, a return to traditional business wisdom has meant that enterprises are generally expected to show a clear path to profitability if they want to attract investment funds.

In more recent years, the crowdsourcing model has been applied to business funding. Crowdfunding platforms make it easier to launch startups that might otherwise have been difficult to fund, and equity crowdfunding has made it possible for individuals of modest means to invest in companies and ideas that they believe have merit.

This was last updated in April 2016

Continue Reading About venture capital (VC)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • email spam

    Email spam, or junk email, is unsolicited bulk messages sent through email with commercial, fraudulent or malicious intent.

  • distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack

    A distributed denial-of-service attack occurs when an attack originates from multiple computers or devices, usually from multiple...

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

SearchHealthIT

  • athenahealth Inc.

    Based in Watertown, Mass., athenahealth Inc. is a leading vendor of cloud-based EHRs for small to medium-sized physician ...

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is legislation passed in 2010 that changed how uninsured Americans enroll in and receive healthcare...

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

SearchStorage

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

  • yottabyte (YB)

    A yottabyte is a measure of theoretical storage capacity and is 2 to the 80th power bytes, or, in decimal, approximately 1,000 ...

  • Kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta and all that

    Kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta are among the list of prefixes used to denote the quantity of something, such as a byte ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

  • NVDIMM (Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Module)

    An NVDIMM (non-volatile dual in-line memory module) is hybrid computer memory that retains data during a service outage.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close