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What is venture capital?

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WeWork Staff

July 02, 2024

VC in India | WeWork

Discover about venture capital firms from funding startups to fostering innovation. Learn how venture capital companies impact entrepreneurs with WeWork.

When it comes to fuelling the growth of innovative startups, venture capital (VC) plays a crucial role. But what exactly is venture capital? In simple terms, venture capital is a form of private equity and a type of financing that investors provide to startups and small businesses that have long-term growth potential. These investments are made by venture capital firms or venture capital companies that pool funds from various investors to invest in promising businesses.

How venture capital works

Here’s a simplified breakdown of how the venture capital process works:


Venture capital firms identify potential investment opportunities through networking, referrals, industry events, and direct applications from startups.

Due diligence

Once a potential investment is identified, the VC firm conducts thorough due diligence, which includes understanding and evaluating the business model, market potential, financials, team, and technology.

Investment decision

Based on the findings from the due diligence, the VC firm decides whether to invest in the startup. If the decision is positive, terms and conditions are negotiated, and an investment agreement is formed. This agreement includes details like the amount of funding, equity stake, board representation, and exit strategy.

Post-investment support

After the investment, the VC firm provides ongoing support, including strategic guidance, mentorship, and access to their network.


The final stage is the exit, where the VC firm seeks to sell its stake in the startup through an IPO, merger, or acquisition, aiming to realise a substantial return on investment.

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Types of venture capital

Venture capital can be categorised into different types based on the stage of the business and the amount of capital required:

Seed capital

This is the earliest form of venture capital investment. It involves a small amount of funding to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas into viable products or services.

Startup capital

This type of capital is provided to companies that have completed their product development and need funding to launch their business operations.

Early-stage capital

This involves Series A and Series B funding rounds and is aimed at businesses that have a proven concept and require additional funds to scale up their operations.

Expansion capital

Also known as growth capital, this funding helps companies expand further, enter new markets, or develop new products.

Late-stage capital

This is provided to companies that are already established and are looking for an exit strategy. The funding supports further growth and prepares the company for an IPO or acquisition.

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Key Players in the Venture Capital Ecosystem in India

The venture capital ecosystem in India is growing, with several key players driving innovation and growth. Some of the reputable venture capital firms in India are:

  • Sequoia Capital India: Known for its investments in startups like OYO, Byju's, and Zomato, Sequoia Capital India is one of the leading VC firms in the country.
  • Accel Partners: Accel has backed several successful Indian startups, including Flipkart, and Swiggy.
  • Nexus Venture Partners: This firm has invested in companies like Delhivery and Unacademy, playing a crucial role in their growth.
  • Kalaari Capital: Focused on early-stage investments, Kalaari Capital has supported startups like Myntra, Dream11, and CureFit.
  • SAIF Partners: With investments in companies like Paytm, MakeMyTrip, and BookMyShow, SAIF Partners is a prominent name in the Indian VC landscape.

Benefits of venture capital

Venture capital offers several benefits to startups and entrepreneurs. These include:

Access to capital

One of the primary benefits of venture capital is the access to substantial funding that can help startups scale quickly.

Mentorship and guidance

Venture capital firms often provide valuable mentorship and strategic guidance, helping entrepreneurs get over the complexities of running a business.

Industry connections

VC firms have extensive networks and can connect startups with potential partners, customers, and other stakeholders.

Credibility and validation

Securing venture capital investment can enhance a startup's credibility and attract additional investors, customers, and talent.

Shared risk

By investing in a startup, venture capital firms share the financial risk with the entrepreneurs, reducing the burden on the founders.

Risks and challenges of venture capital

While venture capital offers various benefits, it also comes with its own set of risks and challenges like:

Loss of control

When accepting venture capital, entrepreneurs need to give up a significant portion of their equity and decision-making power.

High expectations

VC firms expect rapid growth and substantial returns, which can put a lot of pressure on startups to perform.

Stringent terms

The terms and conditions of venture capital agreements can be stringent, with clauses that may not always align with the founders' vision for the company.

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How to attract venture capital

Attracting venture capital can be a challenging task. Here are some tips that can help startups looking to secure VC funding:

Develop a solid business plan

A well-thought-out business plan that outlines the market opportunity, business model, growth strategy, and financial projections is essential.

Demonstrate potential

Show evidence of traction like customer growth, revenue, or user engagement, to prove that your business has potential.

Build a strong team

Venture capital firms look for startups with a strong and experienced team that can execute the business plan effectively.

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Network and build relationships

Attend industry events and leverage your network to connect with potential investors.

Seek mentorship

Engage with mentors and advisors who can provide valuable insights and introduce you to venture capital firms.

Prepare for due diligence

Be prepared for a thorough due diligence process by having all your financials, legal documents, and business metrics in place.

Leverage coworking spaces

These shared office spaces can provide startups with access to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, potential partners, and investors. Many coworking spaces also host events and workshops that can help startups connect with venture capital firms.

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Final word

Venture capital is an important source of funding for startups, offering the capital, mentorship, and industry connections needed to drive growth and innovation. While it comes with its own set of risks and challenges, the benefits often outweigh the drawbacks for many businesses. By understanding how venture capital works and taking the right steps to attract investment, startups can head towards the path of success in the competitive business landscape.


What is venture capital?

Venture capital is a form of private equity financing provided to startups and small businesses with high growth potential.

How do venture capital firms make money?

Venture capital firms make money by investing in startups and eventually exiting these investments through IPOs, mergers, or acquisitions, generating substantial returns.

What are the different types of venture capital?

The different types of venture capital include seed capital, startup capital, early-stage capital, expansion capital, and late-stage capital.

What are the benefits of venture capital for startups?

Some of the key benefits of venture capital for startups are access to substantial capital, mentorship and guidance, industry connections, credibility, and shared risk.

How can startups attract venture capital?

By understanding the intricacies of venture capital and taking the right steps to attract investment, startups can unlock new opportunities to grow their business. These steps include developing a solid business plan, showing business traction, building a strong team, networking and seeking the right mentorship.