Does a VC’s Commitment Lead to Improved Investment Outcomes? Evidence From Climate Startups
61 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2022 Last revised: 2 Aug 2023
Date Written: July 24, 2023
We assess whether a VC’s intrinsic commitment to a startup affects investment performance. We proxy for climate change commitment using the political contributions to Democrats of the lead VC person on a deal. We find investments by Democrats in climate-related startups have 8% higher round-to-exit returns and 29% higher round-to-exit multiples than investments by non-Democrat investors. Democrat VCs are more likely to sit on the startup’s board. Startups with Democrat VCs are more likely to obtain patents following the VC investment. We also use recent local climate-related natural disasters as a proxy for change in commitment by non-Democrat investors. Following these disasters, the performance of non-Democrats’ investments in climate-related startups becomes similar to that of Democrat investors. Our results are consistent with both the importance of commitment in active (vs. passive) investing and the potential (temporary) advantage of ESG-motivated investors.
Keywords: Venture Capital, Private Equity, Impact Investing, Climate, Political, Performance
JEL Classification: G24, G32, G34, L26, M14, O31, O32, Q50, Q54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation