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Saturday, June 27, 2015

How do VC actually work in terms of revenues?

UFor a vc, funding a company is just the first step. It is like hiring a potentially great employee or finding a good business partner. All potential no real revenue. Even subsequent rounds raised at higher valuations are just unrealized gains which can evaporate esp at early rounds. Eg. Vc invest in company at 2m post money. Company raises 1 year later at 8m. Vc will change the net asset value of the company on their books by 4x. But later if firm fails and is written off, all the unrealized gain disappears.

So what is real revenue worth celebrating from a VC point of view? Finding more investors or lp. Each 1m in investments is worth 20-30k in annual mgmt fees for 5-7 years. That's real revenue and the hard vc work happens at pre-start of fund. Then vc work even harder, "hire employees" and then after 3rd year onwards of fund life hope to start exiting companies in trade sale or ipo. This is real cause for celebration as it is the carry revenues that count the most to the partner. Roughly for every 1m in excess of lp capital, vc partners in aggregate earn 200000. 

So a 50m fund in ASEAN, say 2 major partners will earn :

1) 1m per year revenue from Mgmt fee for 7 years. Usually not much profit here after all costs like legal, transport, salaries, compliance, marketing etc

2) 12-15% of the 20% carry at end of fund. So if fund in the end exits 150m. The classic 3x, the 20% carry is 20m. Their 15% is worth 15m. So each take home 7.5m before any tax (10% if concession or 17% normal corp) if equal carry.

Reward is sort of like running a startup for 7-10 years and exiting for 20m. But the risk is lower since there are 20 bets made rather than just 1 concentrated bet.

VC friends, pls feel free to chime in!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. I have bookmarked you to check your new stuff.

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