Venture Capital vs. Private Equity: Understanding the Differences

Venture Capital vs. Private Equity: Understanding the Differences
  • PublishedJuly 8, 2024

Understanding the differences between venture capital and private equity can help you better appreciate how businesses grow and succeed with the help of these important investments. Let us begin by saying that in the world of business and finance, the two important ways that companies get money to grow are called venture capital and private equity. These terms might sound complicated, but we’ll break them down into simple explanations.

What is Venture Capital?

Venture capital is money that investors give to new and young companies. These companies are usually in the early stages of developing their products or services. Think of a venture capitalist as a special type of investor who is willing to take a big risk. They put their money into startups, hoping that one day these companies will become very successful and make a lot of money.

What is Private Equity?

Private equity, on the other hand, involves investing in older, more established companies. These companies are not usually brand new but might need money to grow bigger, improve their business, or even save them from financial trouble. Private equity investors buy these companies or large parts of them, help them get better, and then sell them for a profit.

Key Differences Between Venture Capital and Private Equity

  • Stage of Investment

The biggest difference between venture capital and private equity is the stage at which they invest in companies. Venture capitalists invest in startups and early-stage companies. These companies often have new ideas but need money to develop their products and grow. Private equity investors, however, put their money into more mature companies that have already proven themselves but need more funds to expand or improve.

  • Amount of Investment

Venture capital investments are usually smaller amounts of money compared to private equity. Because VC investors are taking a bigger risk by investing in new companies, they often invest less money in each company. Private equity investments are typically much larger because they involve buying significant parts of well-established companies.

  • Level of Involvement

Venture capitalists often take an active role in the companies they invest in. They might help with making the important business decisions, guiding the company’s strategy, and even bringing in experts to help the company grow. Private equity investors also get involved but in a different way. They usually have a plan to improve the company’s performance, which might include changing the management, cutting costs, or expanding into new markets.

Why Do Companies Need Venture Capital and Private Equity?

Startups need venture capital because they often don’t have enough money to develop their ideas into real products. Venture capitalists provide the necessary funds and also bring valuable experience and connections to help the startup succeed.

  • For Established Companies: Private Equity

Established companies might need private equity for several reasons. They might want to expand their operations, enter new markets, or improve their business processes. Sometimes, companies in financial trouble need private equity to help turn things around.


In summary, venture capital and private equity are two different ways that investors provide money to companies, but they focus on different stages of a company’s life. Venture capital is for new and growing startups, while private equity is for established companies needing significant changes. Both types of investment are important for the economy because they help companies grow, create jobs, and bring new products and services to market.

Author Bio
Aleksey Krylov is a seasoned Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with a robust background in startups, venture investing, and investment banking. With a track record of leading over 70 successful fundraising, IPO, and M&A transactions, he excels in strategic financial management, driving sustainable business growth.

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