What is the MOIC formula?

MOIC Formula

The MOIC, or Multiple on Invested Capital, formula is used to calculate the return on investment and is defined as:

MOIC = Exit Value / Invested Capital


  • Exit Value is the total value received from the investment at the time of exit, including any dividends or distributions paid out to the investors.
  • Invested Capital is the initial amount of money invested in the project or company.

MOIC gives investors a clear measure of how many times their initial investment has been returned over the investment period, excluding the time value of money. It's a simple but powerful way to assess the effectiveness of an investment.

How is the MOIC Formula Used in Real Estate?

In real estate, MOIC (Multiple on Invested Capital) is used to evaluate the performance of real estate investments by measuring how many times the initial capital investment has been returned upon the sale or exit from the property. This metric provides a straightforward way to compare the absolute return across different real estate projects or investments, regardless of the investment period.

For example, if an investor purchases a property for $1 million (Invested Capital) and later sells the property for $2 million (Exit Value), the MOIC would be calculated as follows:

MOIC = $2M (exit value) / $1M (invested capital) = 2

This means the investor has doubled their initial investment, achieving a 2x return on their invested capital.

Real estate investors use MOIC to assess the efficiency of their capital deployment across various projects. It helps in making comparative analyses between different investment opportunities by indicating how much value is created per dollar invested. However, MOIC does not account for the time value of money or the investment period, which is why it's often used in conjunction with other metrics like IRR (Internal Rate of Return) to provide a fuller picture of the investment's performance.

Frequently Asked Questions About the MOIC Formula

Here are some common questions about the MOIC formula along with answers:

1. How does MOIC differ from IRR (Internal Rate of Return)?

MOIC calculates the multiple of the return on the initial investment without considering the time value of money or the holding period of the investment. IRR, on the other hand, is the annualized rate of return that equates the present value of cash inflows with the original investment. While MOIC provides a simple multiple, IRR takes into account the time over which returns are generated, making it a more comprehensive measure of the investment's performance over time.

2. Can MOIC be negative?

Yes, MOIC can be negative if the exit value of the investment is less than the initial invested capital. This indicates a loss on the investment.

3. Is a higher MOIC always better?

Generally, a higher MOIC indicates a more successful investment because it means that the investment has generated more returns relative to the initial capital. However, MOIC does not account for the investment period. An investment with a high MOIC achieved over a very long period might be less desirable than a slightly lower MOIC achieved in a shorter period, depending on the investor's goals and the opportunity cost of capital.

4. How is MOIC used in investment decisions?

MOIC is used to evaluate the performance of past investments and to compare investment opportunities. It provides a straightforward metric to understand how many times an investment could potentially return the initial capital. However, it's typically used alongside other metrics like IRR to get a fuller picture of an investment's performance.

5. Does MOIC take into account additional funding rounds or follow-on investments?

The calculation of MOIC can be adjusted to take into account additional funding rounds by modifying the "Invested Capital" component to include the total amount of capital invested over time. However, this means that all injected capital is considered part of the initial investment for the purpose of calculating returns.

6. How do investors use MOIC in exit planning?

Investors might set target MOICs as part of their exit strategy to determine the minimum acceptable return on an investment. This can help in planning when to exit an investment based on the projected or achieved MOIC relative to the investment horizon and the strategic objectives.

7. What does a MOIC of 1x mean?

A MOIC of 1x means that the exit value of the investment is equal to the amount of capital initially invested, indicating that the investor has neither made a profit nor incurred a loss on the investment (ignoring inflation, opportunity costs, and any costs associated with the investment).

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