Venture Capital 2.0: From Venturing to Partnering
Lex Research Topics in Corporate Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2016-2
70 Pages Posted: 3 May 2016 Last revised: 17 Jun 2016
Date Written: May 2, 2016
Against the backdrop of an ever-changing financial landscape sometimes characterized by an abundance of funding and start-up opportunities, but usually characterized by down rounds and decreasing valuations (leading to funding, investment and liquidity gaps), “venture capital” has taken on a new uncertainty and complexity. In this review, we suggest that venture capital should not exclusively - or even primarily - be defined in terms of providing risk capital (and advise) to founder-entrepreneurs. Such an approach to venture capital, which is often described in terms of a “venture capital cycle”, seems to represent the conventional wisdom in most recent discussion. According to this perspective, the solution to the funding, investment and liquidity gaps is for new sources of capital - be they government, corporate or crowd - to step in and provide founder-entrepreneurs with money, capacities and connections that allows them to start, scale and grow their businesses.
These ingredients are necessary but not sufficient to maximize the economic potential of start-ups. Clearly we need something more. Recently, alternative forms of finance and a new breed of venture capital providers have emerged which focus more on collaborations and the process of building long-term relationships constructed around sharing, mutual trust and respect (partnering) than making money (venturing). Online platforms, such as AngelList, play an important role in encouraging these collaborative models. Some investors have labeled this process as “venture capital 2.0”. We explore the view that reforms that relax rules and regulations governing initial public offerings should attract new “venture capital 2.0” investors and high volumes of business. However, the growth rates for new segment listings in Europe and the United States have stalled recently, casting doubts on the usefulness of the of the IPO route for both young firms and investors. We suggest that a renewed focus on private IPOs, followed by a trade-sale or public IPO, is necessary to accommodate the preferences of entrepreneurs and investors.
Keywords: crowdfunding, corporate governance, corporate venture capital, equity finance, exits, IPOs, liquidity, platforms, private-IPOs, venture capital
JEL Classification: G2, G24, G31, K22, L26, O3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation