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A Portfolio Approach to Venture Capital Financing

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  • Pascal François
  • Georges Hübner

Abstract

This paper studies the contracting choices between an entrepreneur and venture capital investors in a portfolio context. We rely on the mean-variance framework and derive the optimal choices for an entrepreneur with and without the presence of different kinds of venture capitalists. In particular, we show that the entrepreneur always has the incentive to share the risk and benefits of the venture whenever possible. On the basis of their objectives and characteristics, we distinguish the situations of the corporate, independent, and bank-sponsored venture capital funds. Our framework enables us to derive the optimal contract design for the entrepreneur, featuring the choice of investor, the entrepreneur’s investment in the venture, and her dilution in the project’s equity as a function of her bargaining power. This result allows us to characterize the choice of the investor depending on her cost of equity and debt capital. In addition to project size and risk, entrepreneur’s risk aversion turns out to be a critical determinant of VC investor choice –a finding which is strongly supported by a panel analysis of VC fund flows for 5 European countries over the 2002-2009 period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1046.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1046

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Keywords: Venture capital; Portfolio choice; Entrepreneur; Risk aversion;

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References

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  1. Ola Bengtsson & Frederick Wang, 2010. "What Matters in Venture Capital? Evidence from Entrepreneurs’ Stated Preferences," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 1367-1401, December.
  2. Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Luc Laeven & Ross Levine, 2003. "Regulations, Market Structure, Institutions, and the Cost of Financial Intermediation," NBER Working Papers 9890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Chemla, Gilles & de Bettignies, Jean-Etienne, 2003. "Corporate Venture Capital: The Upside of Failure and Competition for Talent," CEPR Discussion Papers 4139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Douglas Cumming & Grant Fleming & Armin Schwienbacher, 2005. "Liquidity Risk and Venture Capital Finance," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 34(4), Winter.
  5. Marianne P. Bitler & Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2005. "Testing Agency Theory with Entrepreneur Effort and Wealth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 539-576, 04.
  6. Mayer, Colin & Schoors, Koen & Yafeh, Yishay, 2005. "Sources of funds and investment activities of venture capital funds: evidence from Germany, Israel, Japan and the United Kingdom," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 586-608, June.
  7. Kerins, Frank & Smith, Janet Kiholm & Smith, Richard, 2004. "Opportunity Cost of Capital for Venture Capital Investors and Entrepreneurs," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(02), pages 385-405, June.
  8. Philippe Desbrières & Sophie Manigart & Koen De Waele & Mike Wright & Ken Robbie & Harry Sapienza & Amy Beekman, 2002. "Determinants of required return in venture capital investments:A five country study," Working Papers CREGO 1020701, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
  9. Thomas Hellmann & Laura Lindsey & Manju Puri, 2008. "Building Relationships Early: Banks in Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 513-541, April.
  10. Hellmann, Thomas, 2002. "A theory of strategic venture investing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 285-314, May.
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