The First Step of the Capital Flow from Institutions to Entrepreneurs: The Criteria for Sorting Venture Capital Funds
29 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2009 Last revised: 8 Jun 2009
Date Written: May 1, 2009
We contribute to the knowledge about the capital flow from institutional investors via Venture Capital (VC) funds as intermediaries to their final destination, entrepreneurial ventures. Therefore, we run a world-wide survey among 1,079 institutional investors to determine the importance of several criteria when they select VC funds. The expected deal flow and access to transactions, a VC fund's historic track record, his local market experience, the match of the experience of team members with the proposed investment strategy, the team's reputation, and the mechanisms proposed to align interest between the institutional investors and the VC funds are the top criteria. The level of fees payable to the funds is not an important selection criterion. The VC relationship is based on a complex structure of (several) principals and agents, and functional only, if the interests of all participants are aligned. Fees are an important element of this alignment. Overall, the sorting criteria of institutional investors are very similar to what we know about the criteria applied by VC funds themselves, when selecting entrepreneurial ventures: The institutions have to mitigate the same kind of agency conflicts that VC funds and entrepreneurs are exposed to.
Keywords: entrepreneurial finance, venture capital, asset allocation criteria, institutional investor
JEL Classification: G23, G24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation