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Invested Capital


Invested capital refers to the total amount of money that shareholders and debtholders have invested in a company. It includes funds invested by shareholders, typically through the purchase of the company’s equity, and funds from other debtholders. It provides a view of the company’s total capitalization rather than just equity or debt alone.


The phonetics of “Invested Capital” is: Invested – /ɪnˈvɛstɪd/Capital – /ˈkæpɪtl/

Key Takeaways

  1. Definition: Invested capital represents the total amount of cash or other resources that are invested in a business to enable it to function. It includes equity, retained earnings, and debt capital. It essentially gives an overview of the total funding that comes into a business.
  2. Return on Invested Capital (ROIC): ROIC is a profitability ratio. It calculates a company’s ability to generate a return on investment from its capital. The ratio is used by investors to assess the efficiency of a company in using its capital to generate profits.
  3. Usage in Valuation: Invested capital is used in several valuation techniques. For instance, it’s used in the calculation of Economic Value Added (EVA) and is a key component of the Free Cash Flow to Firm (FCFF) model. These models help to estimate the fair value of the company.


Invested Capital is a crucial term in business and finance as it provides a comprehensive measure of the total cash invested in a company for it to carry out its business operation. It includes not only equity but also the debt that a company has undertaken, presenting a fuller picture of the company’s total value. Understanding Invested Capital is important for investors as it aids in the evaluation of a company’s profitability, efficiency, and overall financial health. By comparing Invested Capital to returns, for instance, one can gain insights into how effectively a company utilizes its capital, driving investment decisions.


Invested capital is a critical measurement tool in finance and business, as it allows companies, and those considering investment in them, to analyze how effectively a firm is using its money to generate profits. It’s calculated by adding the company’s debt and equity together and then subtracting any cash or cash equivalents. It not only encompasses the total amount of money that a company has raised through debt and equity financing but also includes retained profits ploughed back into the business. By examining invested capital, an organization can evaluate how well it has used its funds to make strategic investments and drive business growth.Invested capital is especially useful for assessing a company’s Return on Invested Capital (ROIC). ROIC is a profitability ratio that determines the percentage return that a company makes over its invested capital. This is beneficial for companies to benchmark their performance against competitors and for investors to pick companies that are generating high returns from their capital investments. Therefore, understanding and monitoring invested capital is essential for strategic decision-making within a business as well as for investors in deciding where to put their money.


1., a popular CRM software provider invested capital to expand its product line and services. The invested capitals were both equity capital (shareholder’s money) and debt capital (loan from banks or bonds). This investment was used for research and development, mergers and acquisitions like the acquisition of Tableau Software, which enhanced the capabilities of Salesforce in business intelligence and data visualization.2. Amazon Inc.:Amazon has consistently demonstrated the use of invested capital to augment its growth. The company’s massive warehouses, advanced logistical systems, technological infrastructure, and original video content on Amazon Prime are all examples of investments in capital. It’s funded through a mix of equity, reinvested earnings, and debt. Amazon reinvests a large chunk of its profits back into the business to continuously fuel its exponential growth.3. Tesla Inc.:One of the primary real-world examples of invested capital is Tesla’s investment in its Gigafactory in Nevada. The billions of dollars invested towards the construction of this factory is a clear depiction of invested capital. The funding was sourced from their own reserve, issuing equity, as well as taking debts. This investment was to ramp up the production of batteries to meet the growing demand for their electric cars.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Invested Capital?

Invested Capital refers to the total amount of money that stakeholders have invested into acquiring or starting a business. It typically includes not only equity investments, but also short and long-term debt.

How is Invested Capital calculated?

Invested Capital can be calculated by adding a company’s debt to its equity, and where applicable, subtracting any cash and cash equivalents. This calculation provides an overview of the total funds invested in the company.

What does Invested Capital signify in a business?

The Invested Capital amount gives potential investors and stakeholders an understanding of the amount of money invested into the business. It’s a measure of the firm’s total funding – both debt and equity – that reflects the total capital base of the company.

How is Invested Capital used in financial analysis?

Invested Capital is an important concept for financial analysts and interested parties who need to understand a company’s financial performance. It provides a basis for several important calculations related to company profitability and efficiency, such as Return on Invested Capital (ROIC).

Can the Invested Capital be too high or too low? What does it mean?

Yes, it can be. If Invested Capital is too high, it could mean the business is heavily reliant on debt or outside investments, which can be risky. If it’s too low, the business may be overlooking growth opportunities. The ‘right’ amount depends on the company’s business model, industry, and growth stage.

How is Invested Capital different from working capital?

While Invested Capital represents the total investment in the company, working capital is the difference between the company’s current assets and current liabilities. It measures the short-term liquidity of the company, whereas Invested Capital offers a long-term view of the company’s funding.

How does a company’s Invested Capital affect its valuation?

The more capital a company has invested, the more assets it generally has, which influences its valuation. Additionally, a company with higher Invested Capital may be perceived as higher risk, especially if it involves significant debt, which can lower its valuation.

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