Private equity

Private equity represents a class of investors, their funds, and their subsequent investments, which are made in private companies or in public companies with the goal of taking them private. Private equity investments are primarily made by private equity firms, venture capital firms, or angel investors, each with its own set of goals, preferences, and investment strategies, yet each providing working capital to the target firm to nurture expansion, new product development, or restructuring of the firms operations, management, or ownership. Aside from the outline of the private company life cycle below, this chapter will focus primarily on private equity firms, which represent the majority of the money in the private equity industry and characteristically invest in the buy-outs of mature companies and venture capital firms, which typically make high-risk equity investments in seed, early, and growth-stage private companies.