Private equity is investment in shares outside a stock exchange.
Investors, often from institutions like funds, give a company money, and in turn buy part of that company. The most common types of private equity are: leveraged buyouts, venture capital, growth capital, distressed investments and mezzanine capital.
In leveraged buyouts, investors buy the majority control of a mature company. In venture capital or growth capital investment, investors give money to start-up companies.