The Business of Venture Capital

The Business of Venture Capital : Insights from Leading Practitioners on the Art of Raising a Fund, Deal Structuring, Value Creation, and Exit Strategies

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The definitive guide to demystifying the venture capital business The Business of Venture Capital, Second Edition covers the entire spectrum of this field, from raising funds and structuring investments to assessing exit pathways. Written by a practitioner for practitioners, the book provides the necessary breadth and depth, simplifies the jargon, and balances the analytical logic with experiential wisdom. Starting with a Foreword by Mark Heesen, President, National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), this important guide includes insights and perspectives from leading experts.
* Covers the process of raising the venture fund, including identifying and assessing the Limited Partner universe; fund due-diligence criteria; and fund investment terms in Part One * Discusses the investment process, including sourcing investment opportunities; conducting due diligence and negotiating investment terms; adding value as a board member; and exploring exit pathways in Part Two * Offers insights, anecdotes, and wisdom from the experiences of best-in-class practitioners * Includes interviews conducted by Leading Limited Partners/Fund-of-Funds with Credit Suisse, Top Tier Capital Partners, Grove Street Advisors, Rho Capital, Pension Fund Managers, and Family Office Managers * Features the insights of over twenty-five leading venture capital practitioners, frequently featured on Forbes' Midas List of top venture capitalists Those aspiring to raise a fund, pursue a career in venture capital, or simply understand the art of investing can benefit from The Business of Venture Capital, Second Edition.
The companion website offers various tools such as GP Fund Due Diligence Checklist, Investment Due Diligence Checklist, and more, as well as external links to industry white papers and other industry guidelines.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 161 x 232 x 38mm | 718g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 2nd Edition
  • 1118752198
  • 9781118752197
  • 7,336

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"As you read this book, either with the aim of becoming a venture capitalist or trying to understand the dynamics of the venture capital business, recognize that Mahendra Ramsinghani has given you a framework for understanding how this all works. While venture capitalist personalities, styles, behavior, and effectiveness vary widely, Mahendra helps describe it in a way that is comprehensive, yet easily understood."--From the Foreword by Brad Feld

The second edition of the bestselling The Business of Venture Capital and the book's companion website cover all the facets of the business, from raising funds and structuring investments to assessing exit pathways. Mahendra Ramsinghani offers aspiring venture capitalists a practical hands-on guide and a comprehensive resource for understanding the entire scope of the venture capital business. The author simplifies the jargon and balances the analytical logic with the wisdom of venture capitalists who have been in the VC trenches.

Written in an accessible style, the author explores what it takes to build a career from entry-level analyst and associate to becoming a senior partner in an established firm. The book covers the process of raising the venture fund and shows how to identify targeted investment opportunities, conduct due diligence, and negotiate investment terms that will generate solid financial returns.

The Business of Venture Capital offers insights, anecdotes, and wisdom from the experiences of best-in-class practitioners. The contributors include more than twenty-five leading VC practitioners who are frequently featured on Forbes' Midas List of top venture capitalists.

Those aspiring to raise a fund, pursue a career in venture capital, or simply understand the art of investing can benefit from The Business of Venture Capital, Second Edition. In addition, the companion website offers various tools such as a GP Fund Due Diligence Checklist and Investment Due Diligence Checklist, as well as external links to industry white papers and other industry guidelines.
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Back cover copy

Praise for The Business of Venture Capital


"The Business of Venture Capital is a comprehensive book with data, industry trends, and insights from leading VCs and LPs--a must have for practitioners."

--David York, Managing Director, Top Tier Capital Partners, a Fund-of-Funds with over $2 billion under management

"Whether you are a practitioner or a student of the venture capital industry, this book offers innumerable insights into the art of the deal."

--Scott Kupor, Managing Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

"A valuable resource for beginners and experts alike, The Business of Venture Capital addresses the complexities and challenges of being a successful venture capitalist."

--Michael Kim, Managing Partner, Cendana Capital, a next generation Fund-of-Funds

"Mahendra's research into today's most active investors reveals how the Venture Capital model is evolving. It's the closest book I've found to a User's Manual for VC."

--David Cowan, Bessemer Venture Partners

"Combines concrete examples and deep insights of industry leaders-a must-have for any venture investor or practitioner."

--Karim Faris, General Partner, Google Ventures

"Mahendra demonstrates how skill, discipline, and often luck and intuition can help to create successful venture capitalists. This is engaging and enjoyable."

--Jon Callaghan, True Ventures

"Detailed yet accessible description of the many facets of venture capital-from the nuanced considerations of an LP to the intricate mechanics of the entrepreneurial companies they bet on."

--Amish Jani, Founder and Managing Director, FirstMark Capital


"If you read only one guide to becoming a successful VC, this is the one to read."

--Paul Maeder, Chairman, National Venture Capital Association (NVCA)

"Captures the LP mindset succinctly--any GP or aspiring VCs can benefit from this book."

--Timothy Recker, Chairman, Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA)

"... packs the insights and wisdom of those who have done it, not once but multiple times."

--Frank Caufield, cofounder, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, one of the world's leading venture firms

"An immensely useful and comprehensive guide."

--Mark Florman, CEO, British Venture Capital Association (BVCA)
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Table of contents

Foreword xv Preface xix Acknowledgments xxiii PART ONE Raising the Venture Fund 1 CHAPTER 1 The Basics 3 Raise the Venture Fund 3 Find the Right Investment Opportunities 4 Generate Financial Returns 6 Roles and Responsibilities 8 Compensation 9 Notes 12 CHAPTER 2 Getting In 13 Entry-Level Positions: Analysts and Associates 14 Internships and Campus Recruitment 18 Midlevel Positions: Principals and MDs 19 Honing Investment Expertise within Allied Fields 22 Senior Partner versus Junior Associate 24 What about Luck? 25 Notes 26 CHAPTER 3 Building Your Career as a Venture Capitalist 29 Intellectual Stimulation and Financial Returns 30 Aptitudes and Attitudes of Successful Practitioners 31 The Challenges of a VC Career 40 Notes 43 CHAPTER 4 The Universe of Limited Partners 45 An Overview of Alternative Assets 47 Sources of Capital: Limited Partners 51 Fund of Funds 59 FoF Models: Variation of a Theme 61 Comparison of Limited Partnerships 65 Notes 67 CHAPTER 5 How Limited Partners Conduct Fund Due Diligence 69 Sourcing and First Screens 70 Evaluating the Venture Firms 71 Notes 74 CHAPTER 6 Defining Your Fund s Investment Strategy 77 Sector-Based Strategy 79 Stage and Geography 81 Notes 86 CHAPTER 7 How Institutional Investors Evaluate Fund Managers 89 The Fund Management Team Dynamics: Stability, Skill Set, and Alignment 91 Notes 99 CHAPTER 8 Fund Size and Portfolio Construction 101 Fit within the LP s Current Portfolio 105 Market Timing 106 Why LPs Terminate Existing Relationships 108 Notes 109 CHAPTER 9 Performance Analysis 111 Individual Performance and Attribution 111 Fund-Level Performance 113 Comparison Benchmarks 117 Public Market Equivalents 119 The Quest for the Elusive Top Quartile Managers 119 All the Managers Are Above Average 122 Notes 124 CHAPTER 10 Emerging Managers: A Promise of the Future 125 Why LPs Seek Emerging Managers 127 How Investors Rank Emerging Managers 130 Institutional Allocations for Emerging Managers 131 A Tale of Two Emerging Managers 132 The Global Emerging Manager: 500 Startups 133 Notes 134 CHAPTER 11 The Venture Capital Firm, Operations, and Culture 137 The DNA of a Firm 137 Governance of the Firm 142 Notes 147 CHAPTER 12 The Fund-Raising Process 149 Build Your Target List of Investors 151 Fund Marketing Materials 152 Presentation Slides 154 Making the Presentation Pitch: Drink Your Own Kool-Aid(R) 154 Attracting the Lead Investor: Your Nut 156 Communicate, Create, and Maintain Momentum 158 Announcing the Close 159 Notes 160 CHAPTER 13 Terms of Investment: The Limited Partnership Agreement 161 Key Terms 161 Fund Financial Terms 164 Fund Governance Terms 168 What Institutional LPs Seek 171 Offering Sweeteners to Attract LPs: A Double-Edged Sword 173 What Matters Most 173 Notes 175 CHAPTER 14 The Role of Placement Agents in Fund-Raising 177 Agents Bring Market Intelligence and Relationships 179 Ethical Challenges 182 Notes 183 PART TWO Making Investments 185 CHAPTER 15 Sourcing Investment Opportunities 189 The Best Source: The Network 194 Accelerators and Demo-Days 196 The VC e-Marketplace: AngelList, Kickstarter and FundersClub 197 Angels 197 The Fountainheads of Academia and Research 199 Corporate Research 200 Trade Conferences 201 Pitch Me, Bro 203 Competitions: From $40 Million Moonshot to $10K 204 Cold Calling 205 You Win Some, You Miss Some 206 Notes 209 CHAPTER 16 The Art of Conducting Due Diligence 213 The Due Diligence Checklist 214 What Is Important: Jockey, Horse, or Markets? 217 Who Invests in Rap Music and Shaving Blades? 220 Notes 223 CHAPTER 17 Management Team Diligence 225 Assessing Intangibles 225 How to Assess the Jockey 229 Serial Entrepreneurs versus First-Time Entrepreneurs 237 What about Charisma? 238 The Importance of Conducting Background Investigations 239 Notes 241 CHAPTER 18 Diligence beyond Management 245 Assessing the Market 245 Evaluating the Idea or Product 247 The Business Model 249 Financial Projections 251 Do Business Plans Matter? 252 Notes 253 CHAPTER 19 Structuring Investment Transactions 255 The Spirit of the Term Sheet 255 Negotiation Stress Points 256 Structuring Terms to Generate Target Returns 258 Valuation Methods and Other Voodoo Arts 260 The Drivers of Valuation 261 The Simplified Form of the Venture Capital Method of Valuation 262 Comparable Valuations of Similar Investments (Comps) 264 Discounted Cash Flow Method 266 Convertible Loan 268 Equity: Preferred Stock 270 Liquidation Preference 273 Antidilution Protections 277 Milestone-Based Financing: Risk Mitigation or Distraction 279 Governance and Control: Protecting Your Securities 280 Exit-Related Provisions 281 Other Terms 284 Syndicating Investments 285 Keeping Term Sheets Simple 286 The Closing Process: After the Term Sheet 289 Notes 291 CHAPTER 20 Serving on the Board 295 Self-Education: Preparing for Your Board Role 296 Roles and Responsibilities of a Board Member 297 Legal Requirements of Board Service 298 Notes 302 CHAPTER 21 Board Culture, Composition, and Orientation 303 Toward a Better Board Culture 305 A VC Reports to Limited Partners and the Venture Capital Firm 309 Importance of Independent Directors 309 Notes 310 CHAPTER 22 Board Value Creation and Evaluation 311 Good Governance as the First Step toward Value Creation 313 The CEO s Perspective on VC Value Add 314 Board Self-Evaluation 317 Notes 318 CHAPTER 23 Challenges in the Boardroom 321 Challenges among Shareholders 322 Managing CEO Transition 326 Best Practices in Managing Transitions 328 Alignment of Exit Method, Timing, and Exit Value 329 Notes 330 CHAPTER 24 Exit Strategies 333 Preconditions for an Exit 334 Secondary Markets 339 Notes 342 CHAPTER 25 Acquisitions: The Primary Path to an Exit 343 The Sell Process 349 When an Acquirer Comes Knocking 353 The Buy-Side Acquisition Process 354 Deal Killers 358 Notes 359 CHAPTER 26 Initial Public Offering 361 The IPO Process: The Long and Winding Road 362 Steps to an IPO 363 Not an Endgame, but a Financing Event 366 Timing the Market 367 IPO Underpricing and Dutch Auctions 367 Information Asymmetry: The Bigger Fool Theory of IPO Underpricing 369 The Dutch Auction: Eliminate the Pop and Those Middlemen 370 Post IPO: Should VCs Stay Engaged? 371 Notes 373 CHAPTER 27 Human Psychology 375 Emotions versus Logic 375 Reciprocation, Obligations, and Indebtedness 376 A VC with Ego: Why Should I Eat Your Leftovers? 376 Conformity (or Groupthink) 377 Rock Stars in the Business 378 That Overhyped Rolodex is Not as Useful as You Think 378 Notes 379 Afterword 381 About the Author 385 About the Companion Web Site 387 Index 389
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About Mahendra Ramsinghani

MAHENDRA RAMSINGHANI has over a decade of experience in fostering the growth of early-stage technology businesses. As Director-Venture Capital Initiatives for Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Mahendra led the legislation for two Fund-of-Fund programs that deploy $200+ million in VC funds in Michigan. For his economic contributions, his US Citizenship was approved under National Interest, a category reserved for less than 1% of the applicants. He is also the co-author of Startup Boards (Wiley, 2014) with VC and author Brad Feld. His articles have appeared in Forbes and MIT Technology Review. Mahendra s background includes a Bachelor s in Electronics Engineering and MBA with a major in Marketing & Finance. He lives in San Francisco, CA.
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217 ratings
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