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Liquidity Risk and Venture Capital Finance

Listed author(s):
  • Douglas Cumming
  • Grant Fleming
  • Armin Schwienbacher

This article provides theory and evidence in support of the proposition that venture capitalists adjust their investment decisions according to liquidity conditions on IPO exit markets. We refer to technological risk as a choice variable in terms of the characteristics of the entrepreneurial firm in which the venture capitalist invests, and liquidity risk as the current and expected future external exit market conditions. We show that in times of expected illiquidity of exit markets (high liquidity risk), venture capitalists invest proportionately more in new high-tech and early-stage projects (high technology risk) in order to postpone exit requirements. When exit markets are liquid, venture capitalists rush to exit by investing more in later-stage projects. We further provide complementary evidence that shows that conditions of low liquidity risk give rise to less syndication. Our theory and supporting empirical results facilitate a unifying theme that links related research on illiquidity in private equity.

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Article provided by Financial Management Association in its journal Financial Management.

Volume (Year): 34 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)

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Handle: RePEc:fma:fmanag:cummingflemingschwienbacher05
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