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What are Firms? Evolution from Birth to Public Companies

  • Kaplan, Steven
  • Sensoy, Berk A.
  • Strömberg, Per Johan

We study how firm characteristics evolve from early business plan, to initial public offering, to public company for 49 venture capital financed companies. The average time elapsed is almost six years. We describe the financial performance, business idea, point(s) of differentiation, non-human capital assets, growth strategy, customers, competitors, alliances, top management, ownership structure, and the board of directors. Our analysis focuses on the nature and stability of those firm attributes. Firm business lines remain remarkably stable from business plan through public company. Within those business lines, non-human capital aspects of the businesses appear more stable than human capital aspects. In the cross-section, firms with more alienable assets have substantially more human capital turnover.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5224.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5224
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  1. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Influence of the Financial Revolution on the Nature of Firms," NBER Working Papers 8177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2000. "The Interaction between Product Market and Financing Strategy: The Role of Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 959-84.
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  13. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
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