Success Is Good but Failure Is Not So Bad Either: Serial Entrepreneurs and Venture Capital Contracting
71 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2019 Last revised: 25 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 15, 2019
I analyze prior entrepreneurship as a determinant of financial contracting with venture capitalists and find more company-favorable contracts in startups founded by serial entrepreneurs. Repeat founders and other insiders retain greater board control and also suffer less equity dilution in their dealings with VCs. Second, serial founders retain their CEO positions more often. Third, startups founded by serial entrepreneurs obtain higher valuations at VC funding although this finding is confined to previously successful founders who also obtain the best contracts. Interestingly these results obtain despite poorer performance of such startups and VCs funding them sooner. Overall, even previously unsuccessful serial entrepreneurs receive better deal terms than novice founders, consistent with entrepreneurial learning being an important factor in fostering future entrepreneurship.
Keywords: Venture Capital, Financial Contracting, Serial Entrepreneurship
JEL Classification: G24
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