The UK private equity industry continues to be the largest and most developed in Europe ? accounting for 49% of total annual European venture capital investment in 1999. Last year saw record levels of investment and record levels of investment into hi-tech companies.
Research by Initiative Europe says around half of the capital raised this year has been for venture capital funds with a technology bias. This suggests the development of a distinct venture capital sector will weather fluctuating attitudes to internet investment outside the private equity sphere.
The rush to fund innovative technology companies has attracted a raft of investors into the market, including estimates of over 100 new incubators across Europe, as well as encouraging existing players to build a technology focus into their fields of interest.
What will the firms be looking for?
- What are the dynamics & growth prospects?
- Is there potential for sustained growth?
- Can management exploit this potential and control the company through growth phases?
- Does potential financial return on the investment meet investment criteria and risk profile?
- How can shareholders exit in medium term?
Is your company suitable for venture capital?
If you answer yes to these six questions, your company probably is suitable.
- Does it have high growth prospects?
- Is your team ambitious for rapid growth?
- Does your company have a product/service with a competitive edge/unique selling point?
- Do you and/or your management team have relevant industry experience?
- Do you have a clear team leader and a team with complementary areas of expertise?
- Are you willing to welcome a new shareholder as a future partner?
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