venture capital investments
Venture capital investments are made to companies in the pre-IPO (Initial Public Offering) stage, before stock market listing, in other words.
Companies that receive Venture Capital (VC) money typically have high growth expectations and positive medium-to-long term profitability outlook in addition to the overall growth of their specific market area.
This is partly why most of the VC money goes to technology investments in areas where the growth prospects are good and no clear leader has emerged as of yet (most VC funded companies hope to fill that position).
The rate of failure among VC funded companies is usually high, but the few winners may make so much in terms of return on investment that the overall fund may turn positive.
Venture capital funds pool money from companies and individuals and invest that money on behalf of those companies for a fee (which may take a form of yearly management fee, a slice of the profits, or other means).
Many venture capitalists also have their own money at stake in the funds.
Resources for Venture Capital Investments
If you'd like to participate in the VC industry as an investor, you can contact one of the managers of the money (VC companies) directly.
These companies are listed on places such as:
Keep in mind that the minimun investment requirements for these companies are considerably high, typically in the hundreds of thousands (may be much less or much more for selected funds).
Before you contact a fund, however, you should develop a strategy in terms of which areas of venture capital you're looking into.
Another thing is the geographical consideration.
There are opportunities for VC investing all around the world and some places are more advanced in some areas of technology than others are (like Northern Europe was for mobile phone technology for much of the late 90's).
Also, some funds invest in different stages of maturity in the companies, with the early stage companies typically carrying more risk (as their business models are unproven), but that risk is typically reflected in the price to obtain a slice of the company.
A good place to start a journey into VC is to read some of the available books on the subject.
These books include: