You have the dream, the drive and the dedication, but traditional sources of financing can be difficult to obtain. The Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund Ltd. " the fund" was established by the Bahamas Government as the vehicle to manage and administer the Government funded Venture Capital Fund for small and medium size business developments throughout The Bahamas.
We are looking to assist the brightest and the best Bahamian Entrepreneurs who have great business ideas from a wide range of industries. Venture capital is money provided by professionals who invest alongside management in young, rapidly growing companies that have the potential to develop into significant economic contributors. Venture capital is an important source of equity for start-up companies. Professionally managed venture capital firms generally are private partnerships or closely-held companies funded by private and public funds, endowment funds, foundations, corporations, wealthy individuals or foreign investors.
How the fund can assist
you and your business!
Venture capitalists generally:
Finance new and rapidly growing companies
Purchase equity securities
Assist in the development of new products or services
Add value to the company through active participation
Take higher risks with the expectation of higher rewards
Have a long-term orientation
When considering an investment, venture capitalists carefully screen the technical and business merits of the proposed company. Venture capitalists only invest in a small percentage of the businesses they review and have a long-term perspective. Going forward, they actively work with the company’s management by contributing their experience and business savvy gained from helping other companies with similar growth challenges. Venture capitalists mitigate the risk of venture investing by developing a portfolio of young companies in a single venture fund.
What is a Venture Capitalist?
The typical person-on-the-street depiction of a venture capitalist is that of a wealthy financier who wants to fund start-up companies. The perception is that a person who develops a brand new change-the-world invention needs capital; thus, if they can’t get capital from a bank or from their own pockets, they enlist the help of a venture capitalist.
In truth, venture capital and private equity firms are pools of capital, typically organized as a limited partnership, that invest in companies that represent the opportunity for a high rate of return within five to seven years. The venture capitalist may look at several hundred investment opportunities before investing in only a few selected companies with favorable investment opportunities. Far from being simply passive financiers, venture capitalists foster growth in companies through their involvement in the management, strategic marketing and planning of their investee companies. They are entrepreneurs first and financiers second.
Venture capitalists may be generalist or specialist investors depending on their investment strategy. Venture capitalists can be generalists, investing in various industry sectors, or various geographic locations, or various stages of a company’s life. Alternatively, they may be specialists in one or two industry sectors, or may seek to invest in only a localized geographic area.
Not all Venture capitalists invest in “start-ups.” While venture firms will invest in companies that are in their initial start-up modes, Venture capitalists will also invest in companies at various stages of the business life cycle. A Venture capitalist may invest before there is a real product or company organized (so called “seed investing”), or may provide capital to start up a company in its first or second stages of development known as “early stage investing.” Also, the Venture capitalist may provide needed financing to help a company grow beyond a critical mass to become more successful (“expansion stage financing”).
The Venture capitalist may invest in a company throughout the company’s life cycle and therefore some Funds focus on later stage investing by providing financing to help the company grow to a critical mass to attract public financing through a stock offering. Alternatively, the Venture capitalist may help the company attract a merger or acquisition with another company by providing liquidity and exit for the company’s founders.
At the other end of the spectrum, some venture funds specialize in the acquisition, turnaround or recapitalization of companies that represent favorable investment opportunities.
Length of Investment
Venture capitalists will help companies grow, but they eventually seek to exit the investment in three to five years. An early stage investment make take seven to ten years to mature, while a later stage investment many only take a few years, so the appetite for the investment life cycle must be congruent with the limited partnerships’ appetite for liquidity. The venture investment is neither a short term nor a liquid investment, but an investment that must be made with careful diligence and expertise.
The investment by venture fund firms into investee portfolio companies is called “disbursements”. A company will receive capital in one or more rounds of financing. A venture firm may make these disbursements by itself or in many cases will co-invest in a company with other financial institutions (“co-investment” or “syndication”). This syndication provides more capital resources for the investee company. Firms co-invest because the company investment is congruent with the investment strategies of various venture firms and each firm will bring some competitive advantage to the investment.
The venture firm will provide capital and management expertise and will usually also take a seat on the board of the company to ensure that the investment has the best chance of being successful. A portfolio company may receive one round, or in many cases, several rounds of venture financing in its life as needed. A venture firm may not invest all of its committed capital, but will reserve some capital for later investment in some of its successful companies with additional capital needs.
Depending on the investment focus and strategy of the venture firm, it will seek to exit the investment in the portfolio company within three to five years of the initial investment. While the initial public offering may be the most glamorous and heralded type of exit for the venture capitalist and owners of the company, most successful exits of venture investments occur through a merger or acquisition of the company by either the original founders or another company. Again, the expertise of the venture firm in successfully exiting its investment will dictate the success of the exit for themselves and the owner of the company.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions represent the most common type of successful exit for venture investments. In the case of a merger or acquisition, the venture firm will receive stock or cash from the acquiring company.