What is an investor?

Eric Ky

The notion of investor is not necessarily understood in the same way depending on the person with whom you are interacting. However, everyone agrees that an investor (individual or legal person) is characterized by his contribution of capital to a company over the medium or long term. However, there are different types of investors: those who are completely financially oriented and those who aim to get involved and support the start-up in which they invest. So what are the profiles of these investors?

The financial investor or the construction of a monetary portfolio

Investors fall into two specific categories. The objective of the financial investor is to acquire shares or invest capital in a start-up for the sole purpose of generating a positive return on investment. This comes in various forms: recovery of the initial investment to which interest is added or obtaining dividends from shares owned by the investor.

These financial investors take this approach in order to build a diversified and strong portfolio. Their choice of investments is based on their analyzes of the financial, economic and commercial strength of the companies in which they wish to invest and the ability of managers to grow the company’s turnover and performance.

The strategic investor: his vision of investing

Conversely, the strategic investor does not simply invest funds in a start-up or a third-party investment opportunity. This type of investor is involved in the operation of the business. In fact, his contribution, associated with his experience, allows the sustainable development of the start-up in which the investor has contributed capital.

The approach adopted by a strategic investor aims to match his skills and know-how to the needs of the company in which he wishes to invest with the sole aim of increasing the possibilities for both stakeholders to benefit from this relationship.

Becoming a strategic investor implies realizing that the financial resources necessary for the initiation and development of the start-up are higher than a simple financial investment.

In addition to this purely financial aspect, strategic investment also requires making yourself available to the teams attached to the company. This type of commitment cannot be taken lightly. As long as the financial investment is held by the start-up, the involvement of the strategic investor must be real and effective.

Strategic investors, by virtue of their specific approach to the notion of investment, must therefore be selective in the choice of their investments. Otherwise, they risk being exposed to a sense of frustration and jeopardizing the financial investment. They must therefore focus on sectors that attract them and for which they have the necessary skills. To be sure of making the right choice, they can in particular turn to Business Angels such as Karim Goudiaby, founder of the site dedicated to colocation “Appartager.com” or Tony Emulelu, Nigerian banker at the origin of a foundation. in favor of entrepreneurship in Africa.

The status of investor, contrary to popular belief, is therefore not unique. It is defined according to the goal that it sets. Hence the importance for companies looking for investors to talk to their future shareholders.

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