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Benchmarking the Returns to Venture

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  • Susan E. Woodward
  • Robert E. Hall

Abstract

We describe a new index of the current and historical returns to venture-type capital. The conceptual basis for the index is the value of a continuously reinvested value-weighted portfolio of all venture-backed and similar pre-public companies. It provides a metric for private equity comparable to the S&P 500 for public equity. We build the index from valuations revealed in episodic transactions in the companies' shares - private placements of new rounds of equity funding, IPOs, acquisitions, and liquidations. Our approach to dealing with the episodic nature of the data is similar to the one used in constructing indexes of real-estate value from transaction data for individual properties. We have extended earlier sources of data to deal with selection bias - we tracked down unfavorable valuations that were less likely to be reported in the earlier data. We also use econometric techniques to handle the remaining selection bias. The resulting index has important uses in marking venture portfolios to market and in assessing the performance of venture investments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10202.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10202

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  1. Quigley, John M. & Woodward, Susan E., 2003. "An Index for Venture Capital," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley qt15g2h7g9, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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Cited by:
  1. de Zwart, G.J. & Frieser, B. & van Dijk, D.J.C., 2007. "A Recommitment Strategy for Long Term Private Equity Fund Investors," ERIM Report Series Research in Management, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasm ERS-2007-097-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  2. Alexander Peter Groh & Oliver Gottschalg, 2008. "The Opportunity Cost of Capital of US Buyouts," NBER Working Papers 14148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Cumming, Douglas & Helge Haß, Lars & Schweizer, Denis, 2013. "Private equity benchmarks and portfolio optimization," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3515-3528.
  4. McKenzie, Michael & Satchell, Stephen & Wongwachara, Warapong, 2012. "Nonlinearity and smoothing in venture capital performance data," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 782-795.

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