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On the Lifecycle Dynamics of Venture-Capital- and Non-Venture-Capital-Financed Firms

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  • Manju Puri
  • Rebecca Zarutskie

Abstract

We use a new data set that tracks U.S. firms from their birth over two decades to understand the life cycle dynamics and outcomes (both successes and failures) of VC- and non-VC financed firms. We first ask to what market-wide and firm-level characteristics venture capitalists respond in choosing to make their investments and how this differs for firms financed solely by non-VC sources of entrepreneurial capital. We then ask what are the eventual differences in outcomes for firms that receive VC financing relative to non-VC-financed firms. Our findings suggest that VCs follow public market signals similar to other investors and typically invest largely in young firms, with potential for large scale being an important criterion. The main way that VC financed firms differ from matched non-VC financed firms, is they demonstrate remarkably larger scale both for successful and failed firms, at every point of the firms' life cycle. They grow more rapidly, but we see little difference in profitability measures at times of exit. We further examine a number of hypotheses relating to VC-financed firms' failure. We find that VC-financed firms' cumulative failure rates are lower than non-VC-financed firms but the story is nuanced. VC appears initially "patient" in that VC-financed firms are less likely to fail in the first five years but conditional on surviving past this point become more likely to fail relative to non-VC-financed firms. We perform a number of robustness checks and find that VC does not appear to have more stringent survival thresholds nor do VC-financed firm failures appear to be disguised as acquisitions nor do particular kinds of VC firms seem to be driving our results. Overall, our analysis supports the view that VC is "patient" capital relative to other non-VC sources of entrepreneurial capital in the early part of firms' lifecycles and that an important criterion for receiving VC investment is potential for large scale, rather than level of profitability, prior to exit.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14250.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Publication status: published as Manju Puri & Rebecca Zarutskie, 2012. "On the Life Cycle Dynamics of Venture-Capital- and Non-Venture-Capital-Financed Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(6), pages 2247-2293, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14250

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  1. Steven N. Kaplan & Antoinette Schoar, 2005. "Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence, and Capital Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1791-1823, 08.
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  7. Brav, Alon & Gompers, Paul A, 1997. " Myth or Reality? The Long-Run Underperformance of Initial Public Offerings: Evidence from Venture and Nonventure Capital-Backed Companies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 1791-1821, December.
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  9. Morten Sørensen, 2007. "How Smart Is Smart Money? A Two-Sided Matching Model of Venture Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(6), pages 2725-2762, December.
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  11. Gompers, Paul A., 1996. "Grandstanding in the venture capital industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 133-156, September.
  12. 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.
  13. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
  14. Laura Lindsey, 2008. "Blurring Firm Boundaries: The Role of Venture Capital in Strategic Alliances," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1137-1168, 06.
  15. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-18, March.
  16. Zarutskie, Rebecca, 2010. "The role of top management team human capital in venture capital markets: Evidence from first-time funds," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 155-172, January.
  17. Megginson, William L & Weiss, Kathleen A, 1991. " Venture Capitalist Certification in Initial Public Offerings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 879-903, July.
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