Venture Capitalists and COVID-19

33 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2020 Last revised: 30 Oct 2020

See all articles by Paul A. Gompers

Paul A. Gompers

Harvard Business School - Finance Unit; Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Will Gornall

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business

Steven N. Kaplan

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); University of Chicago - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship

Ilya A. Strebulaev

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 29, 2020

Abstract

We survey over one thousand institutional and corporate venture capitalists (VCs) on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their decisions and investments. Although individual funds and portfolio companies have been dramatically impacted, VCs expect aggregate returns to be largely unchanged because winners have offset losers. This suggests the primary impact of COVID-19 has been an increase in volatility and uncertainty. Consistent with that, VCs report initially delaying investment due to a difficulty evaluating deals and an expectation that future financings will offer investors more downside protections. We find only moderate evidence of disruption to VC capital flows, with investment expected to be down less than one-fifth, and only one-sixth of VCs reporting any pressure from limited partners to conserve capital. Despite the historical importance of in-person meetings, VCs do not report difficulty finding quality entrepreneurs. We also find little change in how VC allocate their time in the pandemic compared to before the pandemic. Finally, our outcome measures are not correlated with local COVID-19 impact.

Keywords: venture capital, entrepreneurship, COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic

JEL Classification: G24

Suggested Citation

Gompers, Paul A. and Gornall, Will and Kaplan, Steven Neil and Strebulaev, Ilya A., Venture Capitalists and COVID-19 (October 29, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3669345 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3669345

Paul A. Gompers

Harvard Business School - Finance Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6297 (Phone)
617-496-8443 (Fax)

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Will Gornall (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business ( email )

2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Canada

Steven Neil Kaplan

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-4513 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

University of Chicago - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship

Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Ilya A. Strebulaev

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty-gsb.stanford.edu/strebulaev/

National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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