|Leases & Leasing Information|
Getting Your Venture Lease Approved
Each year venture capitalists fund more than 2,500 start-up companies in the U.S. Many of these companies try to conserve their equity capital by approaching venture-leasing firms to secure equipment financing. By obtaining lease financing, these savvy firms are able to use their equity capital for high-impact activities like recruiting key personnel, product development, and expanding their marketing efforts.
What are the qualities that make some start-ups more attractive than others to venture lessors? Here are ten factors that most venture lessors evaluate to decide which start-ups to finance:
Caliber of the Management Team
Most venture lessors consider the start-up's management team to be the most critical success factor for the venture. Though it can be challenging to quickly evaluate management talent, there are several qualities that venture lessors consider. They look for experienced managers with high integrity and a proven history of business performance.
Quality of the Venture Capital Sponsors
Another important factor for most venture lessors is the quality of the start-up's venture capital sponsors. Venture lessors look for experienced venture capitalists with successful investment performance over a number of years. The venture capitalists should also have good reputations for dealing fairly with creditors serving their portfolio companies. Before entering new lease arrangements, most venture lessors verify that the start-ups' venture capital sponsors are actively supporting them.
Soundness of the Business Plan
Successful start-ups usually have compelling, well-articulated business plans. Lessors look for signs that the start-ups have promising market opportunities, clear and credible projections, and reliable financial statements.
Cash Position /Monthly Burn Rate
A yardstick used by many venture lessors to measure risk is the start-up's projected cash consumption rate. The ratio of available cash to the start-up's monthly burn rate is a useful measure. It crudely determines how long the start-up can last before a new equity round is needed. The lessor views a transaction as less risky if the start-up can make full payments during a significant portion of the lease term without raising additional equity. Most lessors look for a ratio that supports at least 9 ? 12 months of the start-up's operation.
The quality and intended use of the equipment is an important factor for most venture lessors. Most lessors look for transactions involving equipment that is essential to the start-up's operation. Additionally, the equipment should have acceptable collateral value and be readily re-marketable in the equipment aftermarket.
Product Prospects and Revenue Track Record
If the start-up is in the development stage and has yet to sell products, venture lessors generally look for products capable of establishing a strong market position. If the start-up's product is already in distribution, lessors look for strong monthly or quarterly revenue growth. A poor reception of the product in the early stages, when measured against the business plan, can often signal a faulty product launch or faulty product concept.
A valuation history records the share prices of stock sold to investors by the start-up. Unless there is a good explanation, most lessors look for significant share price appreciation over successive offering rounds. The assumption is that the start-up is making steady and significant progress in its development, which will be reflected in rising share values.
Balance Sheet Strength
Venture lessors usually evaluate a start-up's working capital to ensure that the start-up can make payments when due. Along with an analysis of the start-up's burn rate, lessors use traditional working capital measures like the current and quick ratios. Lessors also look for other signs of balance sheet strength, such as: low to moderate leverage; positive tangible net worth (inclusive of subordinated debt); and minimum paid-in capital of $7 - $10 million.
Outside Professional Involvement
Most venture lessors view the involvement of reputable and successful outside board members as a positive factor for start-ups. A reputable CPA firm, law firm, institutional partners and/or service providers are also viewed by lessors as positive. These professionals can bring valuable expertise and contacts that can help the new venture to succeed.
As with more traditional lessees, venture-leasing companies frown upon poor lessee payment histories. Most venture lessors expect lessees to have satisfactory payment histories, unless good explanations can be offered. Like other vendors, satisfactory payment of bills by customers is where the rubber meets the road. Whether the lessee is a start-up or a Fortune 500 company, most lessors view prompt payment as sacrosanct.
While venture lessors use additional factors to make their credit decisions, these ten factors seem to be used universally. Though most of these factors are subjective, they have stood the test of time for venture lessors in making informed and reasonable credit decisions.
George Parker is a Director and Executive Vice President of Leasing Technologies International, Inc. ("LTI"), responsible for LTI's marketing and financing efforts. A co-founder of LTI, Mr. Parker has been involved in secured lending and equipment financing for over twenty years. Mr. Parker is an industry leader, frequent panelist and author of several articles pertaining to equipment financing.
Headquartered in Wilton, CT, LTI is a leasing firm specializing nationally in direct equipment financing and vendor leasing programs for emerging growth and later-stage, venture capital backed companies. More information about LTI is available at: http://www.ltileasing.com.
How To Choose An Equipment Leasing Company
Leasing has become a preferred form of equipment financing, accounting for more than 30% of business equipment acquisitions. Each year, thousands of U.S. companies face the challenge of finding attractive financing to acquire business equipment. Many of these companies approach the lease sourcing process seeking the lowest lease rate. While securing a low rate is a worthwhile goal in choosing a leasing arrangement, it alone is usually not a reliable standard for obtaining the best lease transaction or leasing experience.
The Leverage of the Lease
In today's rapidly changing business environment it makes sense to consider all the options before paying for your business equipment ? whether it's a photocopier, computer system, computer hardware or software, telephone system, security equipment, office furniture or anything else. Many business people will give great consideration to the actual purchase, getting quotes from different suppliers and considering different choices. When it comes to paying, however, they simply pay cash or use bank finance without fully exploring the available options.
So You Want to be a Landlord?
The residual income from owning rental properties may bring more money into your life than the fast flip in the long term. If nothing else, the stress is reduced because a well-chosen investment will pay for itself until you the market is ready for you to sell. In order to make this idea work, you must plan carefully. Choose your property, choose your management approach, and choose your tenants carefully to make the most of your investment.
Lease or Buy? That is Always the Question with Car Financing
Leasing is a perfectly viable and legitimate way to finance a new car. Although leasing offers attractive benefits, it is somewhat more complex than buying with a loan. This means there can be pitfalls if a decision to lease is made for the wrong reasons.
How Venture Leasing Added Millions To A Startups Equity Value
Craig Berman beamed noticeably after completing his board presentation. Berman, CEO of a startup that develops nanotechnology applications for the defense industry, had just closed a $ 20 million equity round. Berman finalized the round at an equity valuation that made the whole board blush. Only six months earlier, Berman's team faced a daunting technical delay that set the company back three months. With only four months of cash remaining from a previous equity round, the delay would cause Berman's company to burn cash faster and to fall short of an important benchmark.
Venture Leasing: Startup Financing On the Rise
According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, investment by institutional venture capitalists in startups grew from less than $3.0 billion at the beginning of the 1990's to over $106 billion in 2000. Although venture capital volume has retreated significantly since the economic "bubble" years of the late 1990's, the present volume of around $ 19 billion per year still represents a substantial rate of growth. Venture capitalists will fund more than 2,500 high growth startups in the U.S. this year.
Explore An Effective Revolutionary Approach To Traditional Business Financing
For business owners who need working capital now there is a revolutionary, tax-deductible cash flow solution that frees up capital and gives them the money they need to grow. This diversified cash flow solutions is known as "asset leasing."
Ten Ways Start-ups Use Venture Leases And Loans To Generate Millions
The rise of venture leasing and lending has created an opportunity for sophisticated entrepreneurs to gain a competitive advantage. Savvy entrepreneurs are using venture leases and loans to generate millions of dollars for shareholders by leveraging existing venture capital. They have discovered ways to use this flexible financing as a tool to build enterprise value between equity rounds and to leapfrog less sophisticated competitors.
Venture Leasing - A Smarter Way To Build Enterprise Value
In 2003, venture capitalists and investors dispensed over $18 billion to promising young U.S. companies, according to VentureOne and Ernst & Young Quarterly Venture Capital Report. Less documented and reported is venture leasing's activity and volume. This form of equipment financing contributes greatly to the growth of U.S. start-ups. Yearly, specialty leasing companies pour hundreds of millions of dollars into start-ups, permitting savvy entrepreneurs to achieve the biggest 'bang for their buck' in financing growth. What is venture leasing and how do sophisticated entrepreneurs maximize enterprise value with this type of financing? Why is venture leasing a cheaper and smarter way to finance needed equipment when compared to venture capital? For answers, one must look closely at this relatively new and expanding form of equipment financing specifically designed for rapidly growing venture capital-backed start-ups.
Interim Rent: Equipment Leasing?s Trap Door
Many lessees enter into lease transactions that they believe are competitive based on faulty rate assumptions. Most lease rate calculations don't take interim rent into consideration. Interim rent is the trap door that allows lessors to receive increases in lease pricing. It is unpredictable and the amount can be arbitrary. By understanding how interim can impact your lease, you can close this trap door and enjoy the lease pricing you thought you negotiated.
Increase Your Business Growth and Cash Flow Through Equipment Leasing
"If it can be manufactured, it can be leased." For the past decade or so, this statement has become more and more true to fact. From computer software to commercial aircraft, equipment leases are utilized day in and day out in a constantly changing and highly aggressive business environment worldwide. To gain or to keep the edge over their competitors, companies of every type and size are constantly looking for creative ways to conserve working capital while expanding operations. Many have turned to leasing their equipment to help in the effort. For this reason, the leasing industry is being defined as a major player in equipment financing today.
Pricing Your Apartments
How do you fix a price point for an apartment? Take a guess? Figure it based on your carrying costs? Check comps and do a market analysis? Charge whatever the market will bear? If you're looking to place quality tenants, less is sometimes more.
Lease Contracts - The Meaning of Joint and Several
When you see the phrase "joint and several" in a legal document or contract it means that that the parties on one side of the agreement are responsible individually and collectively for the terms of the agreement.
Insiders Guide to Snaring the Best Lease Deal
Every year, thousands of business owners and financial managers are faced with the task of obtaining attractive financing for equipment their firms want to acquire. Snaring the best leasing arrangement requires only a bit of planning and a smidgeon of finesse. You can save time, land a better lease deal and make the leasing experience less of a conundrum by considering several important factors.
Ten Equipment Leasing Tips - Save a Bundle on Your Next Lease
According to the Equipment Leasing Association ("ELA"), U.S. businesses lease every thing from laptop computers to commercial airplanes, racking up more than $ 200 billion in equipment leased each year. Although four out of five U.S. companies use leasing to acquire equipment, many don't know the ins and outs of leasing well enough to negotiate a good deal. By focusing on a few key aspects of the lease transaction, you can save a bundle on your next lease and eliminate potential aggravation.
What Happens When the Anchor Tenant Moves and You Are On a Ten-year Lease?
Recently there was an article in the Houston Business Journal of the anchor store in many shopping centers through out Houston pulling out. Kmart, took out some stores, so did three other big box stores and a few consumer electronics places and larger furniture stores, now Albertson's has left. Who gets hurt? The franchise stores who pay a high price and lease to be in those centers along side a big anchor tenant. Think about it, Albertson's with their large super stores with Banks in side, Starbucks coffee, bakery, mini eating area, film developing and pharmacy. Soon in Western States where property and land permit, on site carwashes too and also some already have fuel for your car, when you are a club card member. What if you had an MBE, Quiznos, Subway, Dry Cleaning, Travel Agency (as if things are not bad enough already), GNC, Hobby Town, Cost Cutters, etc.
Landlord Tips And Tricks
Every real estate investor dealing in rental homes has done his own clean-up and fix-up, at least in the early years. Landlords also become very skilled at managing tenants after being burned a few times.
True Tenant Tales, Volume One
Working with tenants can be an amazing experience. (Owners and contractors are equally astounding, but those are subjects for another day.) It seems I get my most memorable anecdotes over the phone. Here are a few of the ones I've culled from my blog and experience and put together for your reading amazement.
Terms to Know Before Leasing A Vehicle - Leasing Jargon Simplified
So, you've decided that you want to lease that next vehicle. Can't really blame you. With today's incentives, rebates, and favourable lease rates why wouldn't you. Not only do you get to drive a new car, but a new car that you wouldn't otherwise be able to afford if you were to purchase and finance it. Buyer beware though. With leasing comes new and sometimes rather confusing vocabulary. Don't get lost in a sea of leasing jargon. Protect yourself. Learn and understand the industry language. For those seriously thinking of leasing that next vehicle, here is a useful glossary of "new" terminology that you should familiarize yourself with BEFORE you negotiate a lease:
Warning - This Lease Might Explode Any Minute
Mike Caringi, owner of a small New Jersey business that sells pumps, found himself facing a gut-wrenching dilemma last summer. Should he continue paying $ 1,500 each month for essential telecommunications services he no longer receives and for leased equipment he claims was never installed? Or, should he stop making payments and face a potential lawsuit from the firm that financed the equipment under a 'hell or high water' lease? Mr. Caringi's company is one of several thousand small companies around the country reeling from the bankruptcy of Norvergence, a reseller of telecommunications and Internet services. At the core of the quagmire facing Mr. Caringi and others is that Norvergence succeeded in getting customers to sign separate lease and service contracts that provided its services.
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