Rush to Raise: Does Fundraising Pressure Incentivize Strategic Venture Capital Deal Pricing?
47 Pages Posted: 24 May 2021 Last revised: 3 Jun 2021
Date Written: May 22, 2021
We provide evidence that venture capitalists (VCs) strategically enhance their current funds’ interim performance around new fundraising events. Using novel investment-round-level pricing data, we document that, immediately prior to raising another fund, VCs tend to invest in follow-on financing rounds of their existing portfolio firms at abnormally high step-ups in valuation, relative to subsequent follow-on rounds at the same firms. This pattern cannot be explained by deal and investor characteristics, and strengthens when multiple VCs in the syndicate concurrently raise new funds. Investing at high round prices translates into higher quarterly portfolio IRRs reported at the fund level. Overall, our results question the veracity of portfolio valuations based on investment-round pricing, especially when the VC is under the pressure to raise a new fund.
Keywords: Venture Capital; Private Valuation; Fundraising
JEL Classification: G24; G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation