Finance: Venture Financing

33 Results

 

Adding Value Through Venture Capital in Latin America and the Caribbean

The process of value creation starts with the choice of a promising company, extends through the structure of the investment and into the deal management process, and ends as the venture capitalist positions the company for an exit to a situation where it can continue to grow. In all regions, value creation plays an important role in every venture capital investment. Given the relative youth of the industry in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the issue of value addition is particularly critical. In this paper the authors draw on scholarship, industry statistics, and interviews with six LAC fund managers. They also place the material in the context of their combined 56 years of experience studying the VC industry in order to describe the challenges facing fund managers in value creation. The paper concludes with nine best practices that should be especially helpful in LAC as these economies develop. Read More

In Venture Capital, Birds of a Feather Lose Money Together

The more affinity there is between two VCs investing in a firm, the less likely the firm will succeed, according to research by Paul Gompers, Yuhai Xuan and Vladimir Mukharlyamov. Closed for comment; 8 Comments posted.

Venture Investors Prefer Funding Handsome Men

Studies by Alison Wood Brooks and colleagues reveal that investors prefer pitches from male entrepreneurs over those from female entrepreneurs, even when the content of the pitches is identical. And handsome men fare best of all. Open for comment; 12 Comments posted.

A Playbook for Small-Business Job Creation

Karen Mills left her post as SBA Administrator for a joint fellowship at Harvard to tackle a question she's faced her whole career: How can the United States drive innovation and turn it into jobs? Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

Funding Innovation: Is Your Firm Doing it Wrong?

Many companies are at a loss about how to fund innovation successfully. In his new book, The Architecture of Innovation, Professor Josh Lerner starts with this advice: get the incentives right. Open for comment; 4 Comments posted.

Creating a Venture Ecosystem in Brazil: FINEP’s INOVAR Project

Since the mid-1990s, several groups in Brazil have been working on developing an indigenous venture capital ecosystem, largely to stimulate the establishment of innovative companies and help them gain access to capital. In 2000, the Brazilian government's Agency for Innovation (Financiadora de Estudos e Projectos, or FINEP), with support from the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), unveiled INOVAR, a program to address these needs. In the 12 years since INOVAR's debut, the program has had two iterations and has been recognized as a role model for government efforts to stimulate a VC ecosystem. In this paper, Ann Leamon and Josh Lerner present a brief background on private equity in both Latin America and Brazil, then explore the genesis of INOVAR (Innovation), the details of the program, and its results. They conclude with challenges to be addressed. Read More

Is a VC Partnership Greater Than the Sum of Its Partners?

Venture capital investments are an important engine of innovation and economic growth, but extremely risky from an individual investor's point of view. Furthermore, there are large differences in fund performance between top quartile and bottom quartile venture capital funds. The ability to consistently produce top performing investments implies that there is something unique and time-invariant about venture capital firms. But to what extent are the important attributes of performance a part of the firm's organizational capital or embodied in the human capital of the people inside the firm? Michael Ewens and Matthew Rhodes-Kropf find that the partner is extremely important. Additionally, results suggest that venture capital partnerships are not much more than the sum of their partners. Partners are often significantly different from each other, but "good" firms are those with a group of better partners. Thus, firms that have maintained high performance across many funds may have simply been able to retain high quality partners rather than actually provide those partners with much in the way of fundamental help. Read More

The First Deal: The Division of Founder Equity in New Ventures

When starting a company, entrepreneurs must decide how to divide shares among the founders. The simplest way is to split the shares equally, which is what one third of startups decide to do. But that may not be the fairest or most effective way—especially in cases where some founders are doing more for the company than others. In this paper, Thomas F. Hellman (University of British Columbia) and Noam Wasserman (Harvard Business School) examine when and whether teams are likely to divide shares equally among all the founders, and explore whether such an equity split is good for the company. Read More

Financing Risk and Bubbles of Innovation

While start-up firms are key to any technological revolution, they also run a high risk of failure. To that end, investors often provide limited capital in several careful stages, gaining confidence in a firm before doling out another round of funding. However, these investors still face the possibility that other investors won't provide follow-on funding, even when the firm's prospects remain sound. That's a big risk for individual investors who can't afford to fund a new firm all by themselves, and whose investment will flounder if others don't invest, too. Research by HBS professors Ramana Nanda and Matthew Rhodes-Kropf explores why future investors may not fund the project at its next stage even if the fundamentals of the project have not changed. Read More

Venture Capital’s Disconnect with Clean Tech

Clean-tech start-ups depend on patience and public policy to thrive—the Internet models for VC funding don't apply. That's why Harvard Business School professor Joseph Lassiter is making an unusual recommendation to his entrepreneurship students: Spend a few years serving time in a government job. Closed for comment; 18 Comments posted.

The Consequences of Entrepreneurial Finance: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis

What difference do angel investors make for the success and growth of new ventures? William R. Kerr and Josh Lerner of HBS and Antoinette Schoar of MIT provide fresh evidence to address this crucial question in entrepreneurial finance, quantifying the positive impact that angel investors make to the companies they fund. Angel investors as research subjects have received much less attention than venture capitalists, even though some estimates suggest that these investors are as significant a force for high-potential start-up investments as venture capitalists, and are even more significant as investors elsewhere. This study demonstrates the importance of angel investments to the success and survival of entrepreneurial firms. It also offers an empirical foothold for analyzing many other important questions in entrepreneurial finance. Read More

Buy Local? The Geography of Successful and Unsuccessful Venture Capital Expansion

From Silicon Valley to Herzliya, Israel, venture capital firms are concentrated in very few locations. More than half of the 1,000 venture capital offices listed in Pratt's Guide to Private Equity and Venture Capital Sources are located in just three metropolitan areas: San Francisco, Boston, and New York. More than 49 percent of the U.S.-based companies financed by venture capital firms are located in these three cities. This paper examines the location decisions of venture capital firms and the impact that venture capital firm geography has on investments and outcomes. Findings are informative both to researchers in economic geography and to policymakers who seek to attract venture capital. Read More

HBS Cases: Walking Away from a $3 Billion Deal

Managers of the ABRY Fund V were so successful they had investors waiting to pour in an additional $3 billion. But to invest that much would require trade-offs that could jeopardize the chemistry that made the fund successful in the first place. Take the money or walk away? From HBS Bulletin. Read More

Venture Capital

Professor Josh Lerner provides a summary report on the recently held HBS Centennial colloquium on venture capital. Read More

The Matchmaker of the Modern Economy

In the wake of World War II, Georges Doriot helped found the world's first public venture capital firm, American Research and Development. Doriot (1899–1987) was also a professor at Harvard Business School for 40 years. Our book excerpt from Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital (HBS Press) describes how ARD first came to "marry" investors and innovators. Read More

Bridge Building in Venture Capital-Backed Acquisitions

The acquisition of new capabilities through the purchase of small venture capital-backed start-ups is a strategy that has been employed by many large technology firms including Cisco, Microsoft, Google, and EMC. Young venture capital-backed companies, for their part, often develop innovative technologies that can be exploited by existing technology companies. The value inherent in these start-ups is typically tied up in the intellectual property or human capital that has been developed during the early stages of the company's life. The opportunity to acquire valuable intangible assets, however, is balanced by the difficulty in assessing the value of the underlying assets. Unlike purchasing companies with substantial operating profits and a long track record of sales, the ability to fully assess the prospects of intangible assets is subject to substantial asymmetric information and uncertainty. This paper explores mechanisms for limiting the asymmetric information that potentially plagues the acquisition of young venture capital-backed companies. The results also shed light on the value that venture capitalists add to their portfolio companies as well as to companies in their venture capital network. Read More

Government’s Misguided Probe of Private Equity

The U.S Department of Justice has begun an inquiry into potentially anti-competitive behavior on the part of leading private equity firms. Professor Josh Lerner looks to history to underscore why this move carries the prospect of damaging what is actually an incredibly competitive industry that creates much value. Read More

What’s Behind the Private Equity Boom?

Podcast: On just one day in November, $52 billion worth of private equity deals were announced, and more than $200 billion worth of deals have been agreed to so far in 2006. The deals include such major names as Qantas ($8.7 billion), Hertz ($15 billion), and Clear Channel ($ 18.7 billion). Are public markets being eclipsed? Are investors and employees being victimized? Professor Josh Lerner looks at historical trends and current deals to put it all in perspective. Read More

The Money Connection—Understanding VC Networks

Venture capital firms often consider investments in companies located far away or in unfamiliar industries. How do they spot these opportunities and also reduce risk? It's the power of networks, says Harvard Business School professor Toby Stuart—and understanding how they work in VC is just now starting to be understood. Read More

Rich or Royal: What Do Founders Want?

It's a fundamental tension many entrepreneurs face, the conflict between wanting to become rich and wanting to keep control of their new company. Few can have both. Professor Noam Wasserman discusses his research into the motivations of entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them. Read More

The Success of Reverse Leveraged Buyouts

RLBOs have a bad rap, but Josh Lerner says the reputation is not deserved. Studying almost 500 private equity-led IPOs over a 22-year period, Lerner and co-researcher Jerry Cao conclude that reverse leveraged buyouts in general outperformed other IPOs and the market as a whole. Quick flips, however, are another story. Read More

VCs Survey Post-Bubble Opportunities

At the annual Cyberposium conference held at Harvard Business School, venture capitalists pondered what makes for winners and losers in the new VC landscape. Read More

Four VCs on Evaluating Opportunities

Four venture capitalists explain to Harvard Business School professor Mike Roberts and senior research associate Lauren Barley how they evaluate potential investments. Read More

The VC Quandary: Too Much Money

The VC money "overhang" continues as investors compete to get into a small number of deals each year. How do smart venture firms approach the challenge? A report from the 11th Annual Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference. Read More

European Private Equity—Still a Teenager?

If the private equity industry has a life cycle, these are the teenage years for Europe, according to panelists at the conference session on European private equity. Read More

Surveying the VC Landscape

In an e-mail Q&A, HBS professor Josh Lerner discusses issues including transparency and private equity, buyout firms, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the role of VC on innovation. Read More

Case Study: A Lesson in Private Venture Financing

Using a case discussion on Gray Security Services, Harvard Business School associate professor Walter Kuemmerle highlights issues confronting entrepreneurs and investors interested in Africa. Read More

Wrap-up: Software, Telecom, and Recovery

How is the VC industry doing on its own and in partnership with software and telecoms? These were just three topics discussed in special panel sessions at the recent conference. Here, a few highlights from those conversations. Read More

Venture Capital: Hot Markets and Current Industry Trends

Yes, the economy has soured. But that doesn't mean venture capitalists are waiting on the sidelines. VC panelists discuss what is hot (healthcare), what is not (wireless), and how daily life has changed (a lot). Read More

Venture Capital Goes Boom—or Bust?

In The Money of Invention: How Venture Capital Creates New Wealth, HBS professors Paul Gompers and Josh Lerner demystify the role VC plays in the economy. Read an excerpt. Plus: Q&A with the authors. Read More

The Determinants of Corporate Venture Capital Success

Corporate-sponsored venture capital funds do not have to fail. But as HBS professors Paul Gompers and Josh Lerner explain, hybrid organizations such as Xerox Technology Ventures face considerable challenges on the road to success. Read More

The Future of the Venture Capital Cycle

Despite many success stories and a rapid rise to prominence, the venture capital industry remains a mystery to most, and questions about its sustainability persist. In this excerpt from their pathbreaking book The Venture Capital Cycle, HBS Professors Paul Gompers and Josh Lerner look toward the future of this misunderstood financial intermediary. Read More