Syndication Networks and the Spatial Distribution of Venture Capital Investments
49 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2000
Date Written: December 15, 1999
Sociological investigations of economic exchange pay particular attention to the manner in which institutions and social structures shape transactions among economic actors. Extending this line of inquiry, we explore how interfirm networks in the US venture capital (VC) market from 1986 to 1998 affect the spatial patterns of exchange. We present evidence suggesting that geographic and industry spaces represent natural boundaries that contain the transmission of information about potential investment opportunities. In turn, the highly circumscribed flow of information within these spaces contributes to the geographic- and industry-localization of venture capital investments. After establishing this finding, the majority of our empirical analyses document that the social networks in the venture capital community ? built up through the industry's extensive use of syndicated investing ? facilitate the diffusion of information across geographic and industry boundaries and therefore expand the spatial radius of exchange. We show that VCs that build axial positions in the industry's co-investment network can obtain information from distant sources and hence expand the scope of their investments over time. Consistent with the sociologist's general view of markets, variation across actors in their positioning within the structure of a market appears to differentiate market participants in their ability to overcome boundaries that otherwise would curtail exchange.
JEL Classification: G24, G30, M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation