May 20, 2024


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A Comparison Venture Capital vs. Private Equity

4 min read

Private equity and venture capital are both types of financial aid that companies use at different stages. They are often considered one due to their similar concepts. There is a big difference between the two concepts. Venture capital is usually a small amount of money invested in the early stages of developing a business. Private equity is an investment made by large companies. 

Private equity funds are investments made by investors to invest. Venture capital funds ventures backed by new, high-risk entrepreneurs who require money to shape their ideas. This article will help you understand the differences between Venture Capital and Private Equity. 


What is Venture Capital Investment? 

Venture capital refers to the funds invested by investors or individuals in startups and small companies aspiring to create a new concept or entrepreneur. Venture capital is available to all new private companies that cannot get funding from the public sector. The risk is high, but the investors are fresh and highly qualified. Venture Capital firms help develop businesses early before they go public. 

This common funding method can be required for debt instruments, bank loans, or capital markets. This type of investor is called a Venture Capitalist, and they provide equity capital. 

What is Private Equity Investment? 

Private equity is the capital investment made by investors or companies in private firms not listed on the stock exchange. High-net-worth individuals or firms usually make these investments. These investors buy private company shares or gain authority to de-list public companies from stock exchanges. 


The private equity industry helps existing companies grow and develop. This entity’s primary strategies are Venture Capital, Mezzanine Capital, and Leveraged Buyout. This entity is an integral part of financial services and one of the most attractive financing options. 


Differences between Venture Capital and Private Equity 

We will compare VC vs PE to see the difference between venture capital and private equity. 


  • Risk Appetite 

Venture capitalists assume that most of the companies they invest in will fail. The model is successful because it allows them to hedge their bets. They support small amounts in many companies. They know at least one of them will be successful and that the return on their investment (ROI) from it is worth a few losses. 


Private equity firms would never use this strategy. PE firms invest relatively little, but each acquisition costs more. One company failing is enough to ruin the fund. Private equity firms are more likely to target mature companies because the chances of them failing are virtually zero. 


  • Effort 

Private equity is similar to investment banking. The work at private equity firms is similar to investment banking. On the other hand, venture capital is a process that relies heavily on relationships. You will spend less time crunching the numbers and making phone calls. Some people may hate the idea of cold calling and listening to sales pitches, but for others, it’s a great alternative to staring at Excel spreadsheets. 


  • Stage 

Venture capitalists invest in new companies and startups, while private equity firms buy established companies. 


Private equity firms are usually interested in mature companies, but they may be experiencing a downturn because of some inefficient management. PE firms are brought in to streamline operations and increase revenue. VC firms, on the other hand, look for startups with a high growth potential. Sequoia was the only WhatsApp investor, one of the most successful examples. 


  • Percentage Awarded 

Private equity firms typically purchase the whole company, while venture capitalists get only a part. Even if they don’t receive 100%, a private equity company will at least secure the majority of shares, effectively claiming the autonomy of the business. 


Venture capitalists usually split their shares with the founders, other angel investors, and venture capitalists involved in the startup. 


  • Operational Involvement 

Companies have historically viewed private equity with suspicion because some firms have a “strip and turn” approach. They dismantle companies and restructure them before selling them. 


Although some people still worry about their jobs and the company’s massive debt, things have changed. Private equity firms now strive to expand and enhance the companies they purchase. When the time comes to sell, their assets will be worth much more. 

On the other hand, venture capitalists are often more involved in the company than just the balance sheet. This is especially true if they’ve been involved from the very beginning. They are more likely to want to assist on a personal basis. The business owner can decide how much they want to get involved. 


  • Company Types 

Private equity and venture capital are used to fund different types of companies. Private equity firms have diverse portfolios, including healthcare, transportation, energy, and construction. 


Contrary to their wide-ranging scope, most venture capitalists have a narrower focus on technology companies. In recent years, venture capital has backed some of the biggest tech disruptors, such as Uber and Lyft. 



There are several paths to a successful investing career, whether you are interested in a venture capital or private equity career. You can succeed in these high-paced fields by developing skills, building a network, and staying abreast of new technologies and trends. 

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