Mezzanine Financing – Startup Funding Life Cycle

The growth stage of a new venture that is late in the “Early Stage” continues into expansion stages that typically require mezzanine or bridge funding.  This form of funding is made up of convertible debt or preferred shares, which are more costly and provide investors certain rights over the holders of common equity.  Mezzanine financing is typically known as bridge financing because it finances the growth of expanding companies prior to an IPO.

Companies in the later stages of development generally have fully vetted business models, put in place a broad, multi-functional team, commercialized their product, and achieved reasonable sales momentum. The next step forward is to find additional financing to scale the company.  The objective of the mezzanine funding is to add the fuel necessary to significantly accelerate the growth curve of the company.

Venture Capital is a type of private equity capital in which concept, seed, early, growth (Series A), and mezzanine funding are provided to ventures to support their growth, development, and expansion, in exchange for equity. Earlier round financing is less common and convertible debt is utilized; however, preferred equity is the typical form of investment in the later Series A rounds, which are much more common to the VC. VCs want to generate a return through a future liquidation event, such as a sale to a strategic player or an IPO.

Venture capital firms source their funds for investment from high net worth individuals through professionally managed funds, then invest the funds in return for an annual management fee and carried interest on the profits of the fund.

Background Information

An individual who provides financial capital for venture investment, as well as managerial and/or technical expertise, is generally referred to as a venture capitalist.  These resources are usually invested through a pooled investment vehicle such as an LLC or LP and invest primarily in highly risky but scalable seed, early and growth stage ventures. These funds are professionally managed by venture capital firms. The firms may employ managerial and technical experts with business and industry experience.

Two Types of Venture Capital Providers. 

Venture Capital Funds – VCs are generally recognized by the public for providing financial capital or resources with a primary focus on a financial return for their investors.

FundingSage’s Listing of VC Funds

Several of these VC Funds are spotlighted on our FundingSage Startup Investor Spotlight. Learn more about potential VC investors there!

.406 Ventures

180 Degree Capital Group

3i US Growth Capital

5AM Ventures


Accomplice VC

Accuitive Medical Ventures

Actua Corporation

Adams Capital Management

Advanced Technology Ventures

Advantage Capital Partners

Alta Partners

Andreesen Horowitz

Angel Street Capital

ARCH Venture Partners

Astellas Venture Mangaement

Atlas Ventures

August Capital

Aurora Funds

Austin Ventures

Avalon Ventures

Azure Capital Partners

Bain Capital Ventures

Backstage Capital

Battery Ventures

Battery Ventures

Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Benchmark Capital

Beringea LLC

Bessemer Venture Partners

BioVentures Investors

Canaan Partners

Canvas Venture Fund

Cardinal Venture Capital

Carlyle Group

Centennial Ventures

Charles River Ventures

Chrysalis Ventures

Clarus Ventures

Columbia Capital

Columbus Nova Technology Partners

Connecticut Innovations

Crosslink Capital

DAG Ventures

Data Collective

Domain Associates

Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Elevation Partners

Essex Woodlands


Flybridge Capital Partners

Flywheel Ventures

F-Prime Capital Partners

Focus Ventures

Foundation Capital

Founders Fund

Fortress Capital Finance

Frazier Healthcare

GE Ventures

General Catalyst Partners

GGV Capital

Globespan Capital Partners

Granite Ventures

Greylock Partners

Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc

Highland Capital Partners

Illinois Ventures

Index Venture Management Inc.

Insight Ventures Partners

Institutional Venture Partners

Intellectual Ventures

JMI Equity

Khosla Ventures

Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, Byer

Labrador Ventures

Lightspeed Venture Partners

Lux Capital

Maryland Technology Development Corporation

Matrix Partners


Mayfield Fund

Menlo Ventures

Meritech Capital Partners

Mohr Davidow Ventures

New Enterprise Associates

Northbridge Venture Partners

Norwest Ventures Partners

Oak Investment Partners

OpenView Venture Partners


Partners Innovation Fund

Point Judith Capital

Polaris Venture Partners

Radius Ventures

Redpoint Ventures

Rocket Ventures

RRE Ventures

Sapphire Ventures

Scale Venture Partners

Sequoia Capital

Sevin Rosen Funds

Sigma Partners Boston

Silver Lake

Slow Ventures

Sofinnova Ventures

Spark Capital

StarVest Partners, L.P.

Struck Capital

Sutter Hill Ventures

SV Angel

SV Life Sciences

Technology Crossover Ventures

Tenaya Capital

The D. E. Shaw Grou

Trident Capital

Uncork Capital

Union Square Ventures

Unusual Ventures

VantagePoint Venture Partners



Versant Ventures

Watson Fund

Wave Capital

Corporate Venture Capital Funds – CVCs come from existing corporations that invest their money and expertise directly into startups external to the corporation, for both strategic and financial purposes. Corporate venture capital is a significant subset of the venture capital industry.

FundingSage’s Listing of CVC Funds

Several of these CVC Funds are spotlighted on our FundingSage Startup Investor Spotlight. Learn more about potential CVC investors there!

301 Inc. (General Mills Venture Arm)

Abbvie Biotech Ventures

Airbus Ventures

Alexandria Venture Investments

Amgen Ventures

Ascension Health Ventures

Astellas Venture Management

AXA Strategic Ventures

Baidu Capital

BASF Venture Capital America, Inc.

Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments

BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners

BMW i Ventures

Boehringer Ingelheim Ventures


Chevron Technology Ventures


Comcast Ventures

ConocoPhillips Technology Ventures

Danone Ventures

Dow Ventures

DSM Venturing B.V.

eighteen94 Capital (Kellogg’s VC Fund)

Fosun RZ Capital

GE Ventures

GM Ventures

GV (Google Ventures)

IBM Venture Capital

InMotion Ventures (England)

Intel Capital

Johnson & Johnson Development Corp

Juniper Networks Ventures

Kaiser Permanente Ventures

Kearny Venture Partners

Legend Capital

Lenovo Capital & Incubator Group

Lilly Ventures

Media Tek Ventures

Medtronic Venture Capital

Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, LLC

Merck Ventures

Merieux Developpement

M12 (Microsoft Corporation)

Mitsubishi UFJ Capital

Motorola Solutions Venture Capital

MP Healthcare Venture Management

Nike Innovation + Fuel Lab

Novartis Venture Funds (Switzerland)

Novo Ventures

NTT DoCoMo Capital



Pfizer Venture Investments

Proctor and Gamble Ventures

Qualcomm Ventures

Quintiles Transnational Corp (NovaQuest Capital Management)

Rakuten Ventures (Japan)

Robert Bosch Venture Capital

Roche Venture Fund

S.R. One, Limited (GSK)

SAIC Capital


Samsung Venture Investment

Sanofi Genzyme BioVentures

Sapphire Ventures

Shell Technology Ventures

Sony Innovation Fund

Swisscom Ventures (Cloud Innovation Lab)

Synchrony Financial

Takeda Research investment

Tate & Lyle Ventures

Telstra Ventures (Australia)

Tengelmann Ventures

Third Point Ventures

Toyota AI Ventures

T-Venture Holding

Unilever Technology Ventures

UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund

Verizon Ventures

Volvo Venture Capital

ZX Ventures (AB Inbev Venture Group) (backed by Anheuser-Busch InBev)

The objectives of venture capital firms vary significantly as do their approaches. As noted above some may invest with financial goals in mind while others invest for strategic purposes. A recent phenom is the creation of firms with a societal focus. Venture capital firms may focus on startup companies in different stages of development or from different industries.  Some may operate locally only while others operate regionally, nationally or globally. Some may invest only in disruptive concepts while others invest in existing established companies which simply need support to grow.  They invest in differing business models with differing growth curves, trajectories, and capital intensity. It’s very important that the entrepreneur fully understand the objectives and approach of the venture capital firm in order to utilize their time and resources as efficiently as possible.

Worldwide Venture Capital Trade Associations

African Venture Capital Association
African Venture Capital Association, (AVCANET) is an industry body which operates across Africa to promote and enable private equity on the continent.

Australian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association LTD
Australian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association LTD, (AVCAL) is an Australian association representing the private equity and venture capital industries in the country.

Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association
Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, (CVCA) promotes the venture capital and private equity industries in Canada.

Digital Venture Capital Association
Digital Venture Capital Association, (DigitalVCA) is a non-profit which represents the venture capital and private equity industries globally with the objective of growing the digital and high growth technology sectors for the benefit of society.

European Venture Capital Association
European Venture Capital Association, (EVCA) seeks to shape the future direction of the European private equity and venture capital industries while promoting it to its stakeholders.

Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association
Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, (HKVCA) was established in 1987 to promote and protect the interests of the venture capital industry in Hong Kong.

Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, (IVCA) established in 1993 seeks to promote the development of the venture capital and private equity industry and to support entrepreneurial activity and innovation in India.

Latin American Venture Capital Association
Latin American Venture Capital Association, (LAVCA) is a non-profit association which is supports the growth of the private equity and venture capital industries in Latin America.

National Venture Capital Association, (NVCA)
National Venture Capital Association, (NVCA) advocates for the US venture capital community encouraging policies that encourage innovation and reward long-term investment.

New Zealand Venture Capital Association, (NZVCA)
New Zealand Venture Capital Association, (NZVCA) has, as its mission to ”develop a world-best venture capital and private equity environment for the benefit of investors and entrepreneurs in New Zealand.

Other Resources