10 Strategic Goals Guiding Investors During the Pre-Investment Stage

Discover the primary strategic goals of venture capital and private equity investors when making decisions on which businesses to place their investment.

Ben Cooper
23 Oct
October 23, 2023
 min video
23 Oct

In the competitive world of investments, two distinct categories of investors play pivotal roles: venture capital (VC) investors and private equity (PE) investors. VC investors often seek out very early-stage, pre-revenue businesses, while PE investors typically turn their attention to businesses operating with an EBITDA of £1 million or more. Both VC and PE investors adhere to a set of high-level goals that underpin their investment strategies and decisions, aimed at generating attractive returns, creating value within portfolio companies, and aligning investments with broader financial and strategic objectives.

No matter which type of investor your business engages with, here are ten high-level investor goals:

1. Maximising Returns.

One of the paramount objectives of any investor is to generate substantial returns on their investments. To achieve this, they diligently identify undervalued or high-growth potential opportunities. They optimise operational efficiencies and employ strategic initiatives to increase the value of portfolio companies. Ultimately, the goal is to exit investments at a significantly higher valuation than the initial investment, delivering strong financial gains.

2. Value Creation.

Investors are not just capital providers; they are active agents of change within their portfolio companies. Armed with operational expertise, industry knowledge, and strategic insights, they drive growth, enhance profitability, and improve overall performance. This value creation can involve expanding market share, streamlining supply chains, introducing new products, and implementing cost-saving measures.

3. Risk Management.

While the pursuit of higher returns is a central goal, investors also focus on managing and mitigating risks associated with their investments. Rigorous due diligence, risk assessment, and proactive risk mitigation strategies are employed to safeguard investments from market volatility, operational challenges, and external factors that could impact performance.

4. Portfolio Diversification.

Diversification is a cornerstone strategy for risk management and enhancing the overall stability of an investor's portfolio. By allocating investments across various industries, sectors, and geographic regions, they can reduce the impact of negative events affecting any one specific investment.

5. Long-Term Growth.

Private equity investors often adopt a longer-term perspective compared to their VC counterparts. Their focus is on supporting and nurturing the growth of portfolio companies over several years. The emphasis is on sustainable, enduring success rather than short-term gains.

6. Strategic Partnerships.

Investors understand the power of collaboration. They frequently work closely with the management teams of their portfolio companies, building strong partnerships and aligning strategies with company leadership. This collaboration is crucial for achieving growth, executing value creation initiatives, and driving successful outcomes.

7. Alignment of Interests.

PE investors prioritise aligning their interests with those of the investee company's management and other stakeholders. This alignment ensures a shared commitment to achieving long-term objectives, fosters trust, and maintains a collaborative approach to decision-making.

8. Exit and Liquidity.

Fundamentally, PE investors aim to eventually exit investments and realise returns. This can be achieved through various exit strategies, such as selling to strategic buyers, initial public offerings (IPOs), or secondary market transactions. Successful exits provide liquidity and enable investors to deploy capital into new opportunities.

9. Operational Excellence.

Enhancing operational excellence is a core focus for PE investors within their portfolio companies. This may involve streamlining processes, improving corporate governance, implementing best practices, and leveraging economies of scale.

10. Positive Impact.

While financial returns remain a paramount goal, some investors also strive to make a positive impact on the companies they invest in and the broader communities they operate within. This may involve sustainable and responsible business practices, environmental considerations, and social initiatives.

Ben Cooper | Co-founder Angel Investors Bristol

"The high-level goals of any investor revolve around generating attractive returns, actively creating value within portfolio companies, managing risks, and strategically aligning investments with long-term growth objectives. Remember, investors have a number of choices and your business is just one of many. The overriding goal is to make money as quickly as possible. If an investor doesn’t invest in your business, they’ll invest in another.”

Ben Cooper
Co-Founder, Angel Investors Bristol


The alignment of an investor's goals with those of a business is a key factor in fostering a successful partnership. Understanding the high-level goals of investors, whether they are venture capitalists or private equity investors, can be instrumental in attracting their attention and securing their support. In the competitive landscape of investments, the collaboration between businesses and investors remains a driving force behind growth, financial success, and positive impact.

Watch Webinar.

Ben Cooper appears in this webinar (recorded December 2023) where he shares his investor secrets on how owner-managers and CEOs can navigate the pre-investment journey.

About VCMO

VCMO offers Fractional Chief Marketing Officers to owner-managed and investor-backed companies that operate without a full-time marketing leader. Through its roster of Fractional CMOs, auditing and training solutions, VCMO’s mission is to help SMEs transform their marketing potential into a competitive advantage that delivers predictable revenue and sustainable growth.

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Ben Cooper
Angel Investors Bristol

If this article resonates with your business situation, get in touch to discuss how we can help.

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