Monday, May 05, 2008

Should You Sell Equity to Raise Cash for Your Company

Equity capital is money given for a share of ownership of the company. Equity can be provided by individual investors, sometimes known as "angels", venture capital companies, joint venture partners, and the sweat equity and capital contribution of the founders of the company. Equity providers are more interested in the growth potential of the company. Their objective is to invest an amount now and reap the rewards of a 5 to 1, or even 10 to 1, payoff in three to five years. In other words $100,000 now will be worth $1,000,000 in three years if invested in the right company.

Since the objectives of investors are different from lenders, the factors they evaluate in determining whether to invest are different from lending sources. Investors like to put money in companies that have the potential for rapid growth. Growth potential is based on the quality of management of the company, product brand strength, barriers of entry to competitors and size of the market for the product.

So Debt Or Equity Capital?
The answer is dependent on the answers to several questions: Why does the company require additional capital? What stage is the company at? What is the financial condition of the company? How much capital is required? What constraints will the financing source put on the day-to-day operations of the company? And finally, what impact will the financing source have on the ownership of the company?

No comments: