The law and finance of venture capital financing in Europe: findings from the RICAFE research project
This survey article summarizes the findings of four research projects on the venture capital industry in Europe and the role played by legal institutions and the legal framework. A study on patent litigation insurance argues that insurance can create a level playing field for small innovators, but that compulsory insurance can only be justified as a transitory scheme. The second study argues that intermediaries from countries with a better legal tradition will provide more governance and value added services, even when investing abroad. It also provides supportive empirical evidence based on an extensive questionnaire-study. The third project investigates the relationship between venture investments and a widely used legality index in 39 countries, finding that better laws facilitate faster deal screening and origination, lead to a higher probability of syndication, and also facilitate board representation of the investors. The final study documents a significant performance gap between the European and the US venture capital industry, but argues that the difference can not be attributed to differences in legal origin.
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