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Should Venture Capitalists Put All Their Eggs in One Basket? Diversification versus Pure‐Play Strategies in Venture Capital

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  • April Knill

Abstract

Managing the different companies in which they invest while at the same time performing portfolio optimization for themselves, venture capitalists position themselves as a pure‐play or diversified conglomerate through their cumulative portfolios. I examine the effects of two investment strategies of venture capitalists: 1) a specialist “pure‐play” strategy that maximizes venture capital involvement and 2) a more generalist strategy of diversification at the “firm” level that minimizes portfolio risk. I find that neither strategy optimizes both venture capital growth and time to entrepreneurial exit, which highlights a need for institutional investors to clarify fund objectives at the time a fund is established.

Suggested Citation

  • April Knill, 2009. "Should Venture Capitalists Put All Their Eggs in One Basket? Diversification versus Pure‐Play Strategies in Venture Capital," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 38(3), pages 441-486, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:finmgt:v:38:y:2009:i:3:p:441-486
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-053X.2009.01044.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Obrimah, Oghenovo A., 2016. "Information production within the venture capital market: Implications for economic growth and development," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 1-17.
    2. Obrimah, Oghenovo A. & Prakash, Puneet, 2010. "Performance reversals and attitudes towards risk in the venture capital (VC) market," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 62(6), pages 537-561, November.
    3. Shawky, Hany A. & Dai, Na & Cumming, Douglas, 2012. "Diversification in the hedge fund industry," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 166-178.
    4. Humphery-Jenner, Mark & Suchard, Jo-Ann, 2013. "Foreign VCs and venture success: Evidence from China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 16-35.
    5. Humphery-Jenner, M., 2011. "Diversification in Private Equity Funds : On Knowledge-sharing, Risk-aversion and Limited-attention," Discussion Paper 2011-046, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. André Gygax & Anna Griffiths, 2007. "Do venture capitalists imitate portfolio size?," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 21(1), pages 69-94, March.
    7. Obrimah, Oghenovo A., 2016. "How important is innovation for venture capitalists’ (VCs’) market reputation?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 64-76.
    8. repec:bla:eufman:v:23:y:2017:i:2:p:211-253 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Cumming, Douglas & Dai, Na, 2011. "Fund size, limited attention and valuation of venture capital backed firms," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 2-15, January.
    10. Mohammadi, Ali & Shafizadeh, Mohammadmehdi & Johan, Sofia, 2014. "A Signaling Theory Of Entrepreneurial Venture’S Valuation: Evidence From Early Termination Of Venture Capital Investment," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 349, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    11. repec:eee:pacfin:v:53:y:2019:i:c:p:236-253 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Schwienbacher, Armin, 2013. "The entrepreneur's investor choice: The impact on later-stage firm development," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 528-545.
    13. Valerio Vacca, 2013. "Financing innovation in Italy: an analysis of venture capital and private equity investments," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 209, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    14. repec:eee:jbvent:v:32:y:2017:i:5:p:519-535 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:eee:quaeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:259-274 is not listed on IDEAS

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