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Benchmarking the Returns to Venture

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  • Susan E. Woodward
  • Robert E. Hall

Abstract

We describe a new index of the current and historical returns to venture-type capital. The conceptual basis for the index is the value of a continuously reinvested value-weighted portfolio of all venture-backed and similar pre-public companies. It provides a metric for private equity comparable to the S&P 500 for public equity. We build the index from valuations revealed in episodic transactions in the companies' shares - private placements of new rounds of equity funding, IPOs, acquisitions, and liquidations. Our approach to dealing with the episodic nature of the data is similar to the one used in constructing indexes of real-estate value from transaction data for individual properties. We have extended earlier sources of data to deal with selection bias - we tracked down unfavorable valuations that were less likely to be reported in the earlier data. We also use econometric techniques to handle the remaining selection bias. The resulting index has important uses in marking venture portfolios to market and in assessing the performance of venture investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan E. Woodward & Robert E. Hall, 2004. "Benchmarking the Returns to Venture," NBER Working Papers 10202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10202
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10202.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Quigley, John M. & Woodward, Susan E., 2003. "An Index for Venture Capital," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt15g2h7g9, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cumming, Douglas & Helge Haß, Lars & Schweizer, Denis, 2013. "Private equity benchmarks and portfolio optimization," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3515-3528.
    2. de Zwart, G.J. & Frieser, B. & van Dijk, D.J.C., 2007. "A Recommitment Strategy for Long Term Private Equity Fund Investors," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2007-097-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    3. McKenzie, Michael & Satchell, Stephen & Wongwachara, Warapong, 2012. "Nonlinearity and smoothing in venture capital performance data," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 782-795.
    4. Alexander Peter Groh & Oliver Gottschalg, 2008. "The Opportunity Cost of Capital of US Buyouts," NBER Working Papers 14148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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