Tyler Tysdal is an expert when it comes to matters of investment and he has spent his entire career working in a number of roles within this industry. From fund manager to investor, Tyler knows his way around his world very well and that is why we are very lucky that he has made the time to speak with us to answer the investment queries which you have been sending us. Today we are going to focus on venture capital and private equity, two very similar investment vehicles but two strategies which also differ greatly from one another, and here is how. 

Key Differences

Whilst both of these investment strategies involve a pooled fund which invests in a business, the details around each of them do differ a lot. The key difference between the two methods is that venture capital will look to invest in a young business such as a start up, and private equity is about investing in a business which is well established. 

Investment Stage 

As you can imagine the stage of investment between these two strategies is the key difference and in the case of venture capital this investment will be made very early on in the life of a business. The idea behind venture capital is that an investment group will look to significantly invest in this company and use their experience of business to impact opportunities for the young company. In the case of private equity this investment will usually come when a business is seeking additional funds or if it is struggling. In such a situation a private equity group will invest heavily and seek to place a member on the board, selling back the investment once the company is on a better footing. 


Another key difference between these two investment vehicles is the type of industry which they will look to invest in. For venture capital funds they will seek out young businesses which are operating in rapidly growing industries such as tech, pharma or energy. For private equity funds they will invest in any industry as long as the investment makes sense financially. 

Level of Ownership 

When venture capital funds put their money into young businesses they will aim to try and get a large stake in return, often up to 49% which allows the owners to stay on as majority shareholders. In the case of private equity they will look for a far more sizable stake as well as expect a board position. This will usually have clauses within the contract which indicate a temporary arrangement. 

The risk levels of these two strategies also differs greatly, in the case of venture capital there is of course a much higher risk to the investment given that the young business has not yet managed to prove itself. 

As you can see there are clear similarities between these two investment vehicles, but the details separate them and this is where the differences lie.