**INTRODUCTION**

Investors entering the landscape of venture capital are often bombarded with acronyms for terms that can seem foreign. While a general understanding of the concept that the term represents can be understood by context, knowing the complete meaning of these terms can provide powerful insight into better understanding the return profile of an investment and help make better informed investments. In this paper, we hope to elucidate some commonly used acronyms and the concepts behind them in order to make the world of VC more accessible to anyone approaching it.

**MOIC**

MOIC stands for “**M**ultiple **O**n **I**nvested **C**apital.” The term denotes a metric in finance that is used to measure the ROI (return on investment) generated by an investment or a portfolio. Mathematically, MOIC compares the total value of an investment with the initial investment amount. This is shown in the equation below:

*MOIC = (Realized Value + Unrealized Value) / Total Initial Investment*

In this equation, realized value is the total capital from exited investments and unrealized value is the total value of the remaining portfolio’s unliquidated investments. It should be noted that MOIC is generally written as a multiple of the initial investment and thus the value is often followed by an “x”.

In venture capital, MOIC is used as a metric to assess the performance of investments. For example, an MOIC of 3x signifies that an investment has generated three times the amount of capital invested, indicating a 200% return.

It is important to note that MOIC by itself does not consider the time value of money or the holding period of the investment, and is therefore only one metric that investors use when comparing the returns of an investment.

**IRR**

IRR stands for "**I**nternal **R**ate of **R**eturn." It is a financial metric used to assess the profitability and attractiveness of an investment or a project. The IRR represents the rate at which the net present value of the investment becomes zero.

In simpler terms, the IRR is the discount rate that makes the present value of the investment's cash inflows equal to the present value of its cash outflows. It is the rate of return at which the investment breaks even in terms of its cash flows.

To calculate the IRR, you need to determine the cash inflows and outflows associated with the investment and find the rate at which the NPV is zero. This is typically done using trial and error or through the use of financial software or calculators.

The IRR is often used to compare different investment opportunities or projects. Generally, a higher IRR is considered more favorable, as it indicates a higher rate of return. However, it's important to note that the IRR has limitations, particularly when dealing with non-conventional cash flows or comparing investments with different durations. Investors and businesses typically use the IRR alongside other financial metrics, such as the net present value (NPV), to make informed decisions about the profitability and feasibility of an investment.

**NET IRR**

"Net IRR" refers to the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) calculated after taking into account certain fees, and expenses associated with an investment. It represents the rate of return that accounts for the net cash flows received by investors after deducting these costs.

Investments often involve various fees and expenses, such as management fees, performance fees, transaction costs, or taxes. These costs can impact the overall return realized by investors. Net IRR takes these factors into consideration to provide a more accurate measure of the investment's profitability from the investor's perspective.

To calculate the Net IRR, the cash inflows and outflows associated with the investment are adjusted to reflect the net amount received by investors after accounting for fees and expenses. The adjusted cash flows are then used to determine the rate at which the net present value (NPV) becomes zero, which represents the Net IRR.

Net IRR is particularly relevant for investment funds, private equity, or other investment vehicles where fees and expenses play a significant role in the overall return. By considering these factors, the Net IRR provides a more realistic assessment of the investment's performance for investors.

**GROSS IRR**

"Gross IRR" refers to the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) calculated without taking into account any fees and expenses associated with an investment. It represents the rate of return based solely on the cash flows generated by the investment before considering any deductions.

The Gross IRR is calculated by determining the rate at which the net present value (NPV) of the investment becomes zero, using the cash inflows and outflows associated with the investment. It does not factor in any fees or expenses that may impact the actual return realized by investors.

Gross IRR is commonly used as a measure of the investment's underlying performance, independent of any external costs or charges. It allows for the comparison of different investment opportunities or projects solely based on the cash flows generated by the investment itself.

While Gross IRR provides valuable insights into the investment's potential return, it may not reflect the actual return realized by investors after considering fees and expenses. Therefore, it's important to also consider the Net IRR, which accounts for these factors, to get a more accurate assessment of the investment's profitability from the investor's perspective.

**TVPI**

TVPI stands for "**T**otal **V**alue to **P**aid-**I**n capital."** **It is a financial metric used in the private equity and venture capital industries to evaluate the overall performance and profitability of an investment fund or portfolio. TVPI measures the ratio of the total value realized from an investment to the total amount of capital that has been invested in it. The formula to calculate TVPI is as shown below:

*TVPI = Total Value / Total Capital Invested*

In this formula, "Total Value" represents the sum of all cash flows or proceeds received from the investment, such as sales proceeds, dividends, or distributions. "Total Capital Invested" refers to the aggregate amount of capital contributed to the investment fund or portfolio over its lifetime, including both initial investments and subsequent capital calls.

TVPI is a useful metric for assessing the performance of a fund or portfolio over time. It provides an indication of how much value has been generated relative to the capital invested. A TVPI value greater than 1.0 indicates that the investment has generated a positive return, while a TVPI less than 1.0 suggests a negative return.

Compared to other metrics like MOIC (Multiple on Invested Capital) or IRR (Internal Rate of Return), TVPI provides a broader measure of investment performance by considering the total value realized rather than focusing solely on returns or cash flows.

**DPI**

DPI stands for "**D**istributions to **P**aid-**I**n capital." It is a metric used to measure the amount of capital returned to investors relative to the amount of capital they have contributed to the investment.

DPI is primarily used in the context of private equity and venture capital funds. When these funds make investments in companies, they typically aim to generate returns by selling their stake in those companies at a profit. As the investments mature and generate positive cash flows, the fund managers distribute a portion of those cash flows back to the fund's investors.

DPI is calculated by dividing the total distributions made to investors by the total amount of capital they have invested in the fund. It is expressed as a ratio or a percentage. For example, if a fund has returned $100 million to its investors, and the investors have initially contributed $200 million, the DPI ratio would be 0.5 or 50%.

DPI is a useful metric because it provides insight into how successful a fund has been in returning capital to its investors. A higher DPI indicates that a larger proportion of the capital invested has been returned, which is generally considered positive. However, DPI alone does not provide a complete picture of a fund's performance, and it is often used in conjunction with other metrics such as total value to paid-in capital (TVPI) and internal rate of return (IRR) to evaluate the overall success of an investment fund.