Here you can find some selected terms. For more detailed information, we recommend the glossary of the Association of Private Equity and Venture Capital Companies (BVK).


At least two investors invest in one company. These investors can be investment companies, private individuals or industrial partners. With several investors, one of the companies acts as the lead investor and actively shapes and manages the investment, often co-ordinating interaction between the co-investor and the company.

Due diligence

A detailed examination and assessment of a potential company as a basis for an investment decision. The aim is to identify and avoid at an early point in time potential economic, technical and legal risks during future business activities.


Refers to the investor's exit from an investment by selling the investor's stake. This can take place through an IPO (going public), by selling to an industrial or strategic investor (trade sale), by selling to another financial investor (secondary purchase) or by selling the shares to the former shareholder (buy back). A departure from a portfolio due to technical or economic insolvency is also an exit.


Another word for capital. A fund is a money collection point for investors. Assets are formed and managed in a fund for a specific purpose.


Abbreviation for Information and Communication Technology.

LOI (Letter of Intent)

Refers to a written declaration submitted prior to an investment announcing the intention on the part of the investor and of the company to be invested in to enter into an investment agreement. This letter of intent already lays down material parts of the contract, such as financing volume, acquisition of shares, co-determination, etc.

Minority interest

The interest in equity is less than 50 percent.

Active partnership

In an active partnership, the investor takes over shares in the shareholders' equity and is directly involved in the development of the company's value.

Private equity

This term refers to the investment capital obtained from private investors (usually for a later phase of a company). In a wider sense, private equity is the general term for investment capital prior to the IPO. In addition to venture capital, this also includes mezzanine financing and buy outs.

Public private partnership

This term refers to co-operation between public and private partners.

Silent partnership

The investor does not acquire shares in the company's equity. In a typical silent partnership, the investor does not participate in the company's losses, unlike in the case of an atypical silent partnership. Fixed and variable fees are agreed to for silent partnerships.

USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

This term refers to a company's unique selling proposition. A company with a technology or product USP has a potential edge over competitors.

Venture capital

This term refers to risk and investment capital. Venture capital is invested in non-listed, innovative companies with strong growth in the form of fully liable equity capital or equity-like instruments. The provision of venture capital is primarily dependent on the company's growth prospects and the resultant returns. Venture capital is used to finance the early stages of a company, growth phases and for special financing needs. This form of financing is limited.