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Determinants of control structure choice between entrepreneurs and investors in venture capital-backed startups

Lei Wang, Fangzhao Zhou and Yunbi An

Economic Modelling, 2017, vol. 63, issue C, 215-225

Abstract: This study examines two kinds of control structures in venture capital-backed startups. Based on incomplete contracting theory, we analyze the influence of various factors on these control structures in venture capital models, from the perspectives of investors, entrepreneurs, and startups. In particular, we show how factors such as bargaining power, monitoring costs, private benefits, and risk aversion impact the allocation of control rights. Using the survey data on a heterogeneous group of venture capital-backed startups in China, we empirically examine the impacts of various factors on the control structures of these enterprises. Based on the full sample of enterprises, we find that the stronger the venture capitalist’s bargaining power and the higher the monitoring costs, the more likely investors and entrepreneurs are to prefer joint control. Further, the greater the entrepreneur’s financing need and private benefits, the more likely investors and entrepreneurs are to choose joint control. High-tech startups are more likely to choose a joint control model than those in traditional industries. This is especially true for high-tech startups at an early stage of development. In addition, for high-tech startups, the probability of choosing joint control shows a negative relationship with investors’ strategic benefits and a positive relationship with investors’ risk aversion. Regarding startups in traditional industries, investors’ strategic benefits and risk aversion have an insignificant impact on their control structures.

Keywords: G32; D23; G24; Control rights allocation structure; Startups; Entrepreneurs; Venture capitalists; Incomplete contracting theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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