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The Dynamics of Venture Capital Contracts


  • Julia Hirsch
  • Carsten Bienz



We analyze the degree of contract completeness with respect to staging of venture capital investments using a hand-collected German data set of contract data from 464 rounds into 290 entrepreneurial firms. We distinguish three forms of staging (pure milestone financing, pure round financing and mixes). Thereby, contract completeness reduces when going from pure milestone financing via mixes to pure round financing. We show that the decision for a specific form of staging is determined by the expected distribution of bargaining power between the contracting parties when new funding becomes necessary and the predictability of the development process. To be more precise, parties choose the more complete contracts the lower the entrepreneur's expected bargaining power - the maximum level depending on the predictability of the development process.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Hirsch & Carsten Bienz, 2005. "The Dynamics of Venture Capital Contracts," FMG Discussion Papers dp552, Financial Markets Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp552

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Strömberg, 2004. "Characteristics, Contracts, and Actions: Evidence from Venture Capitalist Analyses," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2177-2210, October.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-282, March.
    3. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
    4. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1992. " Insiders and Outsiders: The Choice between Informed and Arm's-Length Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1367-1400, September.
    5. Jochen Bigus, "undated". "Staging of Venture Financing, Moral Hazard, and Patent Law," German Working Papers in Law and Economics 2002-1-1044, Berkeley Electronic Press.
    6. Gil, Ricard, 2006. "Renegotiation, Learning and Relational Contracting," CEI Working Paper Series 2005-14, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    7. Gompers, Paul A, 1995. " Optimal Investment, Monitoring, and the Staging of Venture Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1461-1489, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Uwe Walz & Carsten Bienz, 2006. "Evolution of Decision and Control Rights in Venture Capital Contracts: An Empirical Analysis," FMG Discussion Papers dp585, Financial Markets Group.
    2. Dirk Bergemann & Ulrich Hege & Liang Peng, 2008. "Venture Capital and Sequential Investments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1682R2, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Oct 2009.
    3. Dahiya, Sandeep & Ray, Korok, 2012. "Staged investments in entrepreneurial financing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 1193-1216.
    4. Hirsch, Julia & Walz, Uwe, 2006. "Why do contracts differ between VC types? Market segmentation versus corporate governance varieties," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/12, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    5. Rin, Marco Da & Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2013. "A Survey of Venture Capital Research," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    6. Julia Hirsch & Uwe Walz, 2013. "Why do contracts differ between venture capital types?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 511-525, April.
    7. Christian Hopp, 2007. "Nothing Ventured - Nothing Gained? Empirical Evidence on Venture Capital Financing in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(III), pages 239-260, September.
    8. Dirk Bergemann & Ulrich Hege & Liang Peng, 2008. "Venture Capital and Sequential Investments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1682R2, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Oct 2009.
    9. Hertzel, Michael G. & Huson, Mark R. & Parrino, Robert, 2012. "Public market staging: The timing of capital infusions in newly public firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 72-90.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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