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Venture Capital and Sequential Investments

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Abstract

We present a dynamic model of venture capital financing, described as a sequential investment problem with uncertain outcome. Each venture has a critical, but unknown threshold beyond which it cannot progress. If the threshold is reached before the completion of the project, then the project fails, otherwise it succeeds. The investors decide sequentially about the speed of the investment and the optimal path of staged investments. We derive the dynamically optimal funding policy in response to the arrival of information during the development of the venture. We develop three types of predictions from our theoretical model and test these predictions in a large sample of venture capital investments in the U.S. for the period of 1987-2002. First, the investment flow starts low if the failure risk is high and accelerates as the projects mature. Second, the investment flow reacts positively to information that arrives while the project is developed. We find that the investment decisions are more sensitive to the information received during the development than to the information held prior to the project launch. Third, investors distribute their investments over more funding rounds if the failure risk is larger.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d16b/d1682-rr.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1682RR.

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Length: 64 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision: Oct 2009
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1682rr

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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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Keywords: Venture capital; Sequential investment; Stage financing; Intertemporal returns;

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References

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  1. Kaplan, Steve & Schoar, Antoinette, 2004. "Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence and Capital Flows," Working papers 4446-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  2. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 2000. "Money chasing deals? The impact of fund inflows on private equity valuation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 281-325, February.
  3. Cochrane, John H., 2005. "The risk and return of venture capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 3-52, January.
  4. PETER M. DeMARZO & YULIY SANNIKOV, 2006. "Optimal Security Design and Dynamic Capital Structure in a Continuous-Time Agency Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2681-2724, December.
  5. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Stromberg, 2003. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 281-315, 04.
  6. Michelacci, C. & Suarez, J., 2000. "Business Creation and the Stock Market," Papers 0009, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  7. Repullo, R. & Suarez, J., 1998. "Venture Capital Finance: a Security Design Approach," Papers 9804, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  8. William Goetzmann & Liang Peng, 2006. "Estimating House Price Indexes in the Presence of Seller Reservation Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 100-112, February.
  9. Scherer, F. M. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2000. "Technology policy for a world of skew-distributed outcomes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 559-566, April.
  10. Gompers, Paul A, 1995. " Optimal Investment, Monitoring, and the Staging of Venture Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1461-89, December.
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  12. Gompers, Paul A., 1996. "Grandstanding in the venture capital industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 133-156, September.
  13. Paul Gompers & Anna Kovner & Josh Lerner & David Scharfstein, 2005. "Venture Capital Investment Cycles: The Impact of Public Markets," NBER Working Papers 11385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Peter M. DeMarzo & Michael J. Fishman, 2007. "Optimal Long-Term Financial Contracting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 2079-2128, November.
  15. Biais, Bruno & Mariotti, Thomas & Plantin, Guillaume & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2004. "Dynamic Security Design: Convergence to Continuous Time and Asset Pricing Implications," IDEI Working Papers 312, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Sep 2006.
  16. Alexander Ljungqvist & Matthew Richardson & Daniel Wolfenzon, 2008. "The Investment Behavior of Buyout Funds: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Julia Hirsch & Carsten Bienz, 2005. "The Dynamics of Venture Capital Contracts," FMG Discussion Papers dp552, Financial Markets Group.
  18. Inderst, Roman & Muller, Holger M., 2004. "The effect of capital market characteristics on the value of start-up firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 319-356, May.
  19. Boyan Jovanovic & Balàzs Szentes, 2007. "On the Return to Venture Capital," NBER Working Papers 12874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Neher, Darwin V, 1999. "Staged Financing: An Agency Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 255-74, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2009. "Incentives for Experimenting Agents," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1726, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2012. "Incentives for Experimenting Agents," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000418, David K. Levine.
  3. Ramana Nanda & Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, 2012. "Innovation and the Financial Guillotine," Harvard Business School Working Papers 13-038, Harvard Business School, revised Dec 2012.
  4. Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2009. "Incentives for Experimenting Agents," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1726RRR, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jun 2013.
  5. Dahiya, Sandeep & Ray, Korok, 2012. "Staged investments in entrepreneurial financing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 1193-1216.
  6. Ramana Nanda & Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, 2010. "Financing Risk and Innovation," Harvard Business School Working Papers 11-013, Harvard Business School, revised Jan 2014.
  7. Da Rin, M. & Hellmann, T. & Puri, M.L., 2011. "A Survey of Venture Capital Research," Discussion Paper 2011-044, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  8. Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2009. "Incentives for Experimenting Agents," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1726R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 2012.
  9. Ramana Nanda & Ken Younge & Lee Fleming, 2014. "Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energy," NBER Chapters, in: The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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