Signaling in Equity Crowdfunding

26 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2015

See all articles by Gerrit Ahlers

Gerrit Ahlers

A.T. Kearney GmbH

Douglas J. Cumming

Florida Atlantic University

Christina Günther

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Denis Schweizer

Concordia University

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2015


This paper presents a first‐ever empirical examination of the effectiveness of signals that entrepreneurs use to induce (small) investors to commit financial resources in an equity crowdfunding context. We examine the impact of venture quality (human capital, social [alliance] capital, and intellectual capital) and uncertainty on fundraising success. Our data highlight that retaining equity and providing more detailed information about risks can be interpreted as effective signals and can therefore strongly impact the probability of funding success. Social capital and intellectual capital, by contrast, have little or no impact on funding success. We discuss the implications of our results for theory, future research, and practice.

Suggested Citation

Ahlers, Gerrit and Cumming, Douglas J. and Guenther, Christina and Schweizer, Denis, Signaling in Equity Crowdfunding (July 2015). Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 39, Issue 4, pp. 955-980, 2015. Available at SSRN: or

Gerrit Ahlers (Contact Author)

A.T. Kearney GmbH ( email )

Charlottenstraße 57
Berlin, 10117

Douglas J. Cumming

Florida Atlantic University ( email )

777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States


Christina Guenther

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179

Denis Schweizer

Concordia University ( email )

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8
+1 (514) 848-2424 ext. 2926 (Phone)
+1 (514) 848-4500 (Fax)


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