The Determinants of Venture Capital Portfolio Size: Empirical Evidence

Posted: 8 May 2004 Last revised: 11 Sep 2008

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This paper explores factors that affect portfolio size among a sample of venture capital financing data from 214 Canadian funds. Four categories of factors affect portfolio size: (1) the venture capital funds' characteristics, including the type of fund, fund duration, fundraising, and the number of venture capital fund managers; (2) the entrepreneurial firms' characteristics, including stage of development, technology, and geographic location; (3) the nature of the financing transactions, including staging, syndication and capital structure; and (4) market conditions. The data further indicate decreasing returns to scale in the number of entrepreneurial firms financed by a venture capital fund.

Keywords: Venture capital portfolio, returns to scale, entrepreneurship

JEL Classification: G24, G28, G32, G38

Suggested Citation

Cumming, Douglas J., The Determinants of Venture Capital Portfolio Size: Empirical Evidence. Journal of Business, Vol. 79, pp. 1083-1126, Available at SSRN:

Douglas J. Cumming (Contact Author)

Florida Atlantic University ( email )

777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States


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