Gender in Start-up Financing: Evidence from Equity Crowdfunding
51 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2021
Date Written: January 18, 2021
It is well known that start-ups with female founders often raise less money than their male counterparts; the question is, what drives this? We exploit the unique features of equity crowdfunding to disentangle the choices made by entrepreneurs and investors. We find that female teams set lower fundraising goals, are equally likely to achieve their minimum goal, and end up raising significantly less. Guided by a simple theory of optimal fundraising, we find that assortative matching (where investors prefer to invest in their own gender) can explain some but not all of the female funding gap. One interesting finding is that female start-ups wait longer before closing their campaigns, suggesting that they want to raise more than what they originally asked for. Overall, the analysis suggests that female founders ask for less, get less, but do not necessarily want less.
Keywords: Entrepreneurial Finance, Equity Crowdfunding, Gender, Start-Ups, Fundraising
JEL Classification: G24, J16, L26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation