Accelerator

A program that helps enterprises grow and develop their businesses by providing resources such as mentorship, funding, and networking opportunities.

Alternative Investment

Any asset or investment vehicle that does not fall into traditional categories such as stocks, bonds, and cash includes private equity, hedge funds, real estate, and commodities, among others.

Angel Investor

An individual who provides funding to early-stage startups, usually in exchange for equity in the company, and often provides mentorship and support to the entrepreneurs.

Asset allocation

The strategy of diversifying an investment portfolio by spreading investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities, with the aim of reducing risk and maximising returns.

Asset-based lending

Business financing in which a company borrows money using its assets, such as inventory, accounts receivable, and equipment, as collateral. 

Benchmark

A standard against which the performance of an investment portfolio or a particular security can be measured which is typically used to evaluate the performance of mutual funds, hedge funds, and other investment.

Board of directors

Group of individuals who are elected by the shareholders of a company and are given the responsibility of making major decisions and setting the overall direction of the company.

Brownfield

An investment in a property or site that has been previously developed and used, often for industrial or commercial purposes, and is now abandoned, idle, or underutilised.

Burn rate

The rate at which a company is spending its available cash or capital to finance its operations before it generates positive cash flows from its business activities.

Business Development Company

An investment company that primarily invests in small and mid-sized private companies, typically in the form of debt or equity financing.

Capital call 

A request made by a private equity or venture capital fund manager for investors to contribute additional capital to the fund, typically to fund new investments or to support existing portfolio companies.

Carried interest 

A form of compensation that is paid to the general partners or managers of a private equity or venture capital fund.

Closed fund 

A fund that has closed its commitments from limited partners and is now ready to deploy its capital.

Co-investment

An investment in which multiple investors pool their resources together to invest in a particular opportunity alongside a private equity or venture capital fund

Convertible-debt

Financing that is used by startups and early-stage companies to raise capital that involves issuing debt securities, typically in the form of bonds or notes, that can be converted into equity shares in the future.

Corporate acquisition

A process by which one company acquires another company through the purchase of its assets or shares that takes many forms, including mergers, stock purchases, and asset acquisitions, and can involve a wide range of industries and sectors.

Corporate venture capital

A venture capital investment provided by a corporation or a group of corporations to startups and early-stage companies that takes many forms, including equity investments, convertible debt, and strategic partnerships.

Crowdfunding

A process of raising funds for a project or venture by soliciting small contributions from a large number of people.

Deal flow

The count or tally of completed transactions over a specific period.

Disbursement

Funds that investors provide to companies to support their operations, growth, or other strategic initiatives. 

Distressed investment 

Investment in companies or assets that are experiencing financial distress or undergoing a restructuring process, often with the goal of turning them around and generating a profit.

Due Diligence

The process of conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation or review of a company, asset, or investment opportunity prior to making a decision to invest or acquire.

Early-stage 

The stage of venture capital investment that occurs after seed funding but before late-stage deals, usually when companies have a validated concept but limited revenue.

EBITDA

A company’s operating income before deducting interest expenses, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

Enterprise value 

The value of a company determined by its market capitalization, which takes into account both equity and debt and deducts any excess cash reserves.

Evergreen fund

An investment fund that does not have a fixed maturity date that is structured to allow investors to continuously add or withdraw capital, and to reinvest the returns generated by the fund back into the fund itself.  

Exit

When an investor sells their equity holdings in a portfolio company.

Final close

The point at which a private equity or venture capital fund stops accepting new investors and begins to deploy the capital it has raised. 

Fund

Financing that is managed by general partners and funded by limited partners who commit capital, which is then invested by the general partners into various assets.

Fund-of-funds

An investment fund that invests in other funds, and focuses on evaluating fund managers to potentially achieve higher returns. 

Fundraising 

When general partners seek capital commitments from limited partners. 

General Partner

An entity of the investment team that raises and manages a fund and makes investment decisions on behalf of its investors.

Greenfield

Greenfield refers to a new investment or project that is being developed from scratch where, investors fund all stages including design, construction, infrastructure and operations.

Incubator

An organization that provides a range of services including office space, mentorship, networking opportunities, funding and access to specialized equipment or resources to early-stage businesses, to help them develop and grow. 

Initial Public Offering (IPO)

A process by which a company goes public by selling shares of its stock to the public for the first time.

Institutional Investor

An entity that invests funds on behalf of a large group of individuals or entities. 

Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

The rate at which the investment is expected to generate a return that is equal to the cost of the investment used in estimating the profitability of an investment over time.

Investment Bank

A financial institution that provides a range of services including underwriting and distributing securities, providing advice on mergers and acquisitions, facilitating the sale of businesses, and managing corporate finance activities. 

J Curve

A graphical representation of the performance of an investment fund over time where initial returns are typically negative as the fund invests capital in new companies or assets and as these investments mature and generate profits, returns begin to increase and may eventually exceed the fund’s initial capital.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Quantifiable measurements which are used in evaluating the performance of a business or organization.

Late stage

The stage of a company’s development when it is approaching maturity and may be close to an initial public offering (IPO) or acquisition. 

Lead investor

The largest investor in a financing round who takes the lead role in determining the negotiations of the terms of investment and valuation of the investee company.

Letter of intent (LOI)

An initial document outlining the preliminary terms of a proposed transaction such as the purchase price, payment terms, and other conditions of the proposed transaction. 

Leverage 

The use of debt financing to fund an investment, with the aim of increasing the potential return on the investment.

Limited Partner

An investor who commits financial resources to a fund managed by a general partner.

Limited Partnership

The structure that exists between a general partner and its limited partners.

Liquidation

The process of selling assets to meet obligations owed to creditors and shareholders. 

Liquidity event

When a general partner divests equity in an asset and provides capital gains to the limited partners. 

Management buyout (MBO) 

A transaction in which the current management team of a company acquires a controlling stake in the company from its current owners, often with the help of private equity or other investors.

Management Fee

A fee charged by a private equity or venture capital fund manager for managing a fund’s assets and is typically in the range of 1-2% of the fund’s assets under management.

Merger

A corporate transaction in which two or more companies combine into a single entity.  

Mezzanine Investment

A funding round that involves both senior and subordinated loans, and usually offers equity-based options in the form of warrants. 

Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA)

A legally binding contract that prohibits one or more parties from sharing confidential or proprietary information with others.

Nontraditional investor

A non-traditional investor includes sovereign wealth funds, family offices, hedge funds, and private equity firms that may have different investment goals, risk profiles, and strategies than traditional investors. 

Offer letter

A non-binding expression of interest by one party to acquire a target company.

Operating Partner

An individual who works for a private equity firm and provides expertise to portfolio companies to increase their value.

Paid-in capital

The amount of capital committed by limited partners and transferred to the general partner.

Placement agent 

A third-party firm that helps private equity firms and other investment funds raise capital from institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals. 

Portfolio company

A firm that has been invested in by a private equity or venture capital company.

Post-money valuation

Post-money valuation is the value of a company after an investment has been made in it.

Pre-money valuation 

Pre-money valuation is the estimated value of a company prior to an investment or financing round.

Pre-seed

A stage of startup funding where the company is usually in the idea or conceptualization stage and the funding is used to develop the initial concept or prototype.

Private Equity

The investment of capital in private companies or those that are not publicly traded in exchange for equity.

Recapitalization

A strategy for investment that entails the restructuring of a company’s combination of equity and debt.

Return on Investment (ROI)

A financial metric used to measure the gain or loss generated on an investment relative to its cost.

Reverse merger/Reverse takeover

A type of merger in which a private company acquires a public company.

Reverse termination fee

A fee that the buyer is required to pay in the event of a breach or termination of a definitive acquisition agreement.

Secondary market

A transfer of alternative investments from one limited partner to another. 

Seed 

The earliest stage of startup financing, often provided by angel investors, family, friends, or early-stage venture capital firms.

Series A-D+

The different stages of funding that a startup or a company can go through as it grows, with each round typically representing an increase in the company’s valuation and funding amount.

Share deal

A transaction in which a private equity firm acquires a percentage of ownership in a company by purchasing shares of its stock.

Share purchase agreement 

A legal contract that governs the terms and conditions of the purchase and sale of shares of a company between the buyer and the seller.

Step-up multiple

The variance between the value of a company after the last venture capital (VC) round and the value of the company before the new funding round.

Strategic acquisition

A type of acquisition in which a company acquires another company to gain access to new markets, products, technologies, or customers.

Subordinated debt

A type of debt that has a lower priority than other forms of debt in the event of a bankruptcy or default.

Target company

The company that the acquiring company is interested in purchasing/or has purchased.

Tranche

A portion of financing that is divided into smaller parts that are dependent on the company reaching a certain benchmark.

Transaction fees

A fee imposed by private equity firms on companies they acquire.

Underwriting

The process of raising investment capital by issuing debt and equity securities on behalf of corporations or government entities.

Unicorn

A privately held startup company that has reached a valuation of $1 billion or more.

Venture capital

A type of private equity financing that is provided to startup companies and small businesses that have high growth potential.

Venture growth

An investment round of a company that is at least Series E or later and has already proven its concept and has achieved significant growth, but still has potential for further expansion.

Working capital

The amount of capital that a company has available for its day-to-day operations. 

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