With a Little Help from Friends: Strategic Financing and the Crowd
49 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2020 Last revised: 16 Aug 2020
Date Written: July 2020
Based on a crowdfunding platform and social media account login data, we study the information role of financing from connected individuals (e.g., family and friends) of entrepreneurs. While financing from connected individuals is generally considered as a signal of high-quality projects, our results suggest that this might be a signal of funding performance manipulation. Entrepreneurs with moderate early funding performance strategically solicit investments from friends to encourage naïve investors to herd. Sophisticated investors discern manipulation and are less likely to invest. Manipulation exists even when sophisticated investors have significant market power and projects with manipulation deliver poorer funding performance.
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