FINANCING START-UP BUSINESSES AND INVESTMENTS
Financing is needed to start a business and ramp it up to profitability. There are several sources to consider when looking for start-up financing.
What do we do for our customer?
• We specify the needs, risks, pros and cons of the start-up business/investment
• We determine the financial methods and financial institutions to be applied
• We prepare necessary documents market analysis, business plans, etc., to apply to the financial institutions
• We pursue the negotiations with financial institutions
• We conclude the financing process
We have wide variety of relations and access to different type of financial institutions. These financial methods and institutions are;
1) Debt Financing
Debt ﬁnancing involves borrowing funds from creditors with the stipulation of repaying the borrowed funds plus interest at a speciﬁed future time. For the creditors (those lending the funds to the business), the reward for providing the debt ﬁnancing is the interest on the amount lent to the borrower.
Debt ﬁnancing may be secured or unsecured. Secured debt has collateral (a valuable asset which the lender can attach to satisfy the loan in case of default by the borrower). Conversely, unsecured debt does not have collateral and places the lender in a less secure position relative to repayment in case of default.
Debt ﬁnancing (loans) may be short term or long term in their repayment schedules. Generally, short-term debt is used to ﬁnance current activities such as operations while long-term debt is used to ﬁnance assets such as buildings and equipment.
• Banks and Other Commercial Lenders; Banks and other commercial lenders are popular sources of business ﬁnancing. Most lenders require a solid business plan, positive track record, and plenty of collateral. These are usually hard to come by for a start- up business. Once the business is underway and proﬁt and loss statements, cash ﬂows budgets, and net worth statements are provided, the company may be able to borrow additional funds.
• Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), An export credit agency (known in trade finance as ECA) or Investment Insurance Agency is a private or quasi-governmental institution that acts as an intermediary between national governments and exporters to issue export financing. The financing can take the form of credits (financial support) or credit insurance and guarantees (pure cover) or both, depending on the mandate the ECA has been given by its government. ECAs can also offer credit or cover on their own account. This does not differ from normal banking activities. Some agencies are government-sponsored, others private, and others a bit of both.
• International Financial Institutions; International financial institutions (IFIs) are financial institutions that have been established (or chartered) by more than one country, and hence are subjects of international law. Their owners or shareholders are generally national governments, although other international institutions and other organizations occasionally figure as shareholders. The most prominent IFIs are creations of multiple nations, although some bilateral financial institutions (created by two countries) exist and are technically IFIs. Many of these are multilateral development banks (MDB) like World Bank, European Investment Bank (EIB).African Development Bank (AfDB)etc.
• Government Programs; Federal, state, and local governments have programs designed to assist the ﬁnancing of new ventures and small businesses. The assistance is often in the form of a government guarantee of the repayment of a loan from a conventional lender. The guarantee provides the lender repayment assurance for a loan to a business that may have limited assets available for collateral. The best known sources are the Small Business Administration and the USDA Rural Development programs.
• Bonds; Bonds may be used to raise ﬁnancing for a speciﬁc activity. They are a special type of debt ﬁnancing because the debt instrument is issued by the company. Bonds are different from other debt ﬁnancing instruments because the company speciﬁes the interest rate and when the company will pay back the principal (maturity date). Also, the company does not have to make any payments on the principal (and may not make any interest payments) until the specified maturity date. The price paid for the bond at the time it is issued is called its face value.
2) Equity Financing
Equity ﬁnancing means exchanging a portion of the ownership of the business for a financial investment in the business. The ownership stake resulting from an equity investment allows the investor to share in the company’s proﬁts. Equity involves a permanent investment in a company and is not repaid by the company at a later date.
• Venture Capital; Venture capital refers to ﬁnancing that comes from companies or individuals in the business of investing in young, privately held businesses. They provide capital to young businesses in exchange for an ownership share of the business.
• Angel Investors; Angel investors are individuals and businesses that are interested in helping small businesses survive and grow. So their objective may be more than just focusing on economic returns. Although angel investors often have somewhat of a mission focus, they are still interested in proﬁtability and security for their investment. So they may still make many of the same demands as a venture capitalist.
• Government Grants; Federal and state governments often have ﬁnancial assistance in the form of grants and/or tax credits for start-up or expanding businesses.
• Equity Offerings; In this situation, the business sells stock directly to the public. Depending on the circumstances, equity offerings can raise substantial amounts of funds. The structure of the offering can take many forms and requires careful oversight by the company’s legal representative.
3) New Alternative Methods
• Crowdfunding; Crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, crowd-sourced fundraising) is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowdfunding can also refer to the funding of a company by selling small amounts of equity to many investors.
• Peer-to-Peer Lending; Peer-to-peer lending (also known as person-to-person lending, peer-to-peer investing, and social lending; abbreviated frequently as P2P lending) is the practice of lending money to unrelated individuals, or "peers", without going through a traditional financial intermediary such as a bank or other traditional financial institution. This lending takes place online on peer-to-peer lending companies' websites using various different lending platforms and credit checking tools.