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Venture Capital and Sequential Investments

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Abstract

We analyze sequential investment decisions in an innovative project that depend on the investor's information about the project failure risk and its potential final value. We consider the feedback effects between learning about the project parameters and the continuous adjustment of the investment strategy. Investors decide sequentially about the speed of investment and the optimal degree of involvement. We develop three types of predictions from our theoretical model and test these predictions in a large sample of venture capital investment in the U.S. for the period of 1987-2002. First, the investment flow starts cautiously if the failure risk is high and accelerates as the projects mature. Second, the investment flow reacts positively to information that arrives while the project is developed. We find that interim information is more significant for investment decisions than the information prior to the project launch. Third, investors distribute their investments over more funding rounds if the failure risk is larger.

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  • Dirk Bergemann & Ulrich Hege & Liang Peng, 2008. "Venture Capital and Sequential Investments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1682, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Nov 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1682
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    1. repec:eee:jfinec:v:128:y:2018:i:3:p:422-442 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dahiya, Sandeep & Ray, Korok, 2012. "Staged investments in entrepreneurial financing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 1193-1216.
    3. Ramana Nanda & Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, 2016. "Financing Entrepreneurial Experimentation," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-23.
    4. Johannes Hörner & Larry Samuelson, 2013. "Incentives for experimenting agents," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(4), pages 632-663, December.
    5. Michael Ewens & Ramana Nanda & Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, 2015. "Cost of Experimentation and the Evolution of Venture Capital," Harvard Business School Working Papers 15-070, Harvard Business School, revised Mar 2017.
    6. Hellmann, Thomas & Thiele, Veikko, 2015. "Friends or foes? The interrelationship between angel and venture capital markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 639-653.
    7. Rin, Marco Da & Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2013. "A Survey of Venture Capital Research," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    8. Ramana Nanda & Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, 2012. "Innovation Policies," Harvard Business School Working Papers 13-038, Harvard Business School, revised Mar 2017.
    9. repec:cwl:cwldpp:1726rrr is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Lukas, Elmar & Mölls, Sascha & Welling, Andreas, 2016. "Venture capital, staged financing and optimal funding policies under uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 250(1), pages 305-313.
    11. Catherine Casamatta & Carole Haritchabalet, 2014. "Dealing with Venture Capitalists: Shopping Around or Exclusive Negotiation," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 18(5), pages 1743-1773.
    12. Ramana Nanda & Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, 2010. "Financing Risk and Innovation," Harvard Business School Working Papers 11-013, Harvard Business School, revised Jan 2014.
    13. Ramana Nanda & Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, 2017. "Coordination Frictions in Venture Capital Syndicates," Harvard Business School Working Papers 17-089, Harvard Business School.
    14. Ramana Nanda & Ken Younge & Lee Fleming, 2014. "Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energy," NBER Chapters,in: The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy, pages 199-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. William R. Kerr & Ramana Nanda & Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, 2014. "Entrepreneurship as Experimentation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 25-48, Summer.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Venture capital; Sequential investment; Stage financing; Intertemporal returns;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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