Browsing by Subject "venture capital"

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  • Lehtonen, Oskari (Hanken School of Economics, 2011-09-20)
    Previous research has been inconclusive regarding the impact of those who invest in entrepreneurs. Consider for a moment how potentially important they are to entrepreneurs. They for example decide who deserves funding, how much time they contribute to their portfolio firms, how they grant entrepreneurs access to their networks, and help entrepreneurs acquire additional funding. In sum, investors potentially have a great impact on the success of entrepreneurs. It is therefore important that we better understand the environment, relationships and context in which parties operate. This thesis contains five articles that explore investors’ and entrepreneurs’ relationships from various viewpoints, in theoretical frameworks, and use a variety of data and research methods. The first article is a literature review that summarises what we know of venture capital, business angel and corporate venture capital funding. The second article studies the entrepreneurs’ investor selection process, its consequences, and identifies key factors that influence the process. Earlier, the common approach has been to concentrate research on the investors’ selection policy, not the entrepreneurs’. The data and conclusions are based on multiple case studies. The article analyses how entrepreneurs can ensure that they get the best possible investor, when it is possible for an entrepreneur to select an investor, and what are the consequences of investor selection. The third article employs power constructs (dependency, power balance/imbalance, power sources) and analyses their applicability in the investor-entrepreneur relationship. Power constructs are extensively studied and utilised in the management and organisation literature. In entrepreneur investor relationships, power aspects are rarely analysed. However, having the ability to “get others to do things they would not otherwise do” is a very common factor in the investor-entrepreneur relationship. Therefore, employing and analysing the applicability of power constructs in this setting is well founded. The article is based on a single case study but suggests that power constructs could be applicable and consequently provide additional insights into the investor-entrepreneur relationship. The fourth article studies the role of advisors in the venture capital investment process and analyses implications for research and practice, particularly from the entrepreneurs’ perspective. The common entrepreneurial finance literature describes the entrepreneur-investor relationship as linear and bilateral. However, it was discovered that advisors may influence the relationship. In this article, the role of advisors, operating procedures and advisors’ impact on different parties is analysed. The fifth article concentrates on investors’ certification effect. The article measures and demonstrates that venture capital investment is likely to increase the credibility (in terms of media attention) of early stage firms, those that most often need additional credibility. Understanding investor certification can affect how entrepreneurs evaluate investment offers and how investors can make their offers appear more lucrative.
  • Lahti, Tom (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009-01-07)
    Wealthy individuals - business angels who invest a share of their net worth in entrepreneurial ventures - form an essential part of an informal venture capital market that can secure funding for entrepreneurial ventures. In Finland, business angels represent an untapped pool of capital that can contribute to fostering entrepreneurial development. In addition, business angels can bridge knowledge gaps in new business ventures by means of making their human capital available. This study has two objectives. The first is to gain an understanding of the characteristics and investment behaviour of Finnish business angels. The strongest focus here is on the due diligence procedures and their involvement post investment. The second objective is to assess whether agency theory and the incomplete contacting theory are useful theoretical lenses in the arena of business angels. To achieve the second objective, this study investigates i) how risk is mitigated in the investment process, ii) how uncertainty influences the comprehensiveness of due diligence as well as iii) how control is allocated post investment. Research hypotheses are derived from assumptions underlying agency theory and the incomplete contacting theory. The data for this study comprise interviews with 53 business angels. In terms of sample size this is the largest on Finnish business angels. The research hypotheses in this study are tested using regression analysis. This study suggests that the Finnish informal venture capital market appears to be comprised of a limited number of business angels whose style of investing much resembles their formal counterparts’. Much focus is placed on managing risks prior to making the investment by strong selectiveness and by a relatively comprehensive due diligence. The involvement is rarely on a day-to-day basis and many business angels seem to see board membership as a more suitable alternative than involvement in the operations of an entrepreneurial venture. The uncertainty involved does not seem to drive an increase in due diligence. On the contrary, it would appear that due diligence is more rigorous in safer later stage investments and when the business angels have considerable previous experience as investors. Finnish business angels’ involvement post investment is best explained by their degree of ownership in the entrepreneurial venture. It seems that when investors feel they are sufficiently rewarded, in terms of an adequate equity stake, they are willing to involve themselves actively in their investments. The lack of support for a relationship between increased uncertainty and the comprehensiveness of due diligence may partly be explained by an increasing trend towards portfolio diversification. This is triggered by a taxation system that favours investments through investment companies rather than direct investments. Many business angels appear to have substituted a specialization strategy that builds on reducing uncertainty for a diversification strategy that builds on reducing firm specific (idiosyncratic) risk by holding shares in ventures whose returns are not expected to exhibit a strong positive correlation.
  • Keinonen, Henrik (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-12-08)
    The aim of this research is to study agency problems in entrepreneurial ventures and publicly listed companies (PLCs). Agency problems originate from asymmetric information, and can be detrimental to a firm’s investment attractiveness, high-growth ventures’ financial markets, and listed companies’ valuation. The overarching research question is what are the agency problems among entrepreneurial ventures and publicly listed companies, are these problems similar in nature, and can they be prevented or cured? The question is addressed in three different settings. Paper I reflects on business angel networks’ (BANs) value to startup entrepreneurs and their societal context, and provides statistics on BANs in Europe and the US. Paper II empirically investigates the impact of Israeli scaleup entrepreneurs’ criteria when selecting a Venture Capital (VC) firm, inverting the typical research order. Paper III contributes by providing answers to why certain blockholders in Finnish PLCs do not take responsibility for the company’s long-run development, but instead maximise their private utility. The authors employ descriptive statistics and quantitative research: interview data, an ordered logit regression model, longitudinal panel data with cross-sectional and time-series observations, and ordinary least squares regression. Agency problems in startups stem from the transactional process between entrepreneur and angel investor. In this setting, the entrepreneur might provide untruthful information to the investor or abuse the funding. BAN service quality may, however, reduce information asymmetries in entrepreneurial venture quality, and build trust between entrepreneurs and investors. BANs in more mature business angel markets tend to offer better quality services than those in less mature markets. Agency problems in scaleups manifest between VC firms and entrepreneurs, where VC managers may push entrepreneurs to take excessive risks that endanger their personal wealth. Empirically, entrepreneurial experience has a negative relationship with the importance entrepreneurs attach to valuation, which is moderated by the importance they attach to VC networks and reputation. Honest signalling of the parties’ qualities may reduce agency problems in the startup and scaleup phases. Large state ownership and company value are negatively associated, suggesting that government owners may promote political goals rather than long-term value for all shareholders. Liquidating state ownership in non-strategic companies and re-investing the assets through ETF funds would constitute a Pareto improvement. Ultimately, this study shows that agency problems are contextual and differ on the firm’s stage of development, namely startup, scaleup or PLC. But agency problems can be alleviated, which is important to the aggregate economy.
  • Reunanen, Mika (Hanken School of Economics, 2019-05-08)
    The purpose of the research is to give understanding what is the company law background concerning the use of mezzanine financing, how mezzanine instruments are handled from accounting and taxation perspective and how they are used in the market today. On top of that is reviewed the size of mezzanine market in relevant countries. The main focus is in Finland and comparison is done to Sweden, Estonia, USA, UK and Germany. The differences of legal frameworks and markets in relation to the discussed financing form are analysed. The research objective has been to conclude what are some of the main differences of company regulation, accounting and taxation rules and local market conditions related to the topic in question. Additionally, is reviewed how mezzanine could be used in bank lending going forward in order to support functioning capital markets. In the review of legal background, the focus has been on company law solely. Reference to other legislation is made only if it is necessary to understand better the specific company law regulation in question. The analysis of applicable accounting rules has concentrated on the local GAAP and IFRS regulation. In the review of taxation rules is focused on thin capitalisation rules and deductibility of interest from the borrower´s view. When reviewing the local market conditions, the attention has been given to the size of the market in terms of amount of venture capital actors, volumes of venture capital investments, number of banks and volumes of bank loans. The research is based on academic and professional literature in company law and finance. The outcome of the research is that there are significant differences in the company law, accounting rules and taxation regulation between the observed countries. There are also significant differences in mezzanine markets between the observed countries due to variation of actors and their capacity to provide financing. This influences on the availability of the mezzanine financing in general. Additionally, it can be concluded that mezzanine is a potential bank lending form. Mezzanine financing could be used especially in situations where customer does not have collateral to offer and bank would be prepared to grant financing even with traditional debt instruments. Mezzanine instruments give also additional possibilities for a bank to price the lending to reflect better the risk of the financing transactions. However, mezzanine cannot be a tool which would allow banks to step to transactions or projects which would be riskier than those transactions or projects which are financed by banks today with traditional senior debt loan instruments. It is rather a tool which would provide to banks additional alternatives to price more accurately the risks they would take anyhow.