Abstract

This paper discusses how a corporate venture capital investment might be the first step towards a more intense form of collaboration with the portfolio firm. CVC investments are small equity investments, made by incumbent firms, in young, entrepreneurial firms. Pursuing these types of investments allows the innovating firm to create a portfolio of different options while waiting until the technological and commercial opportunities about the technology have become clear. If the technology turns out to be promising, a follow-on investment is likely to take the form of a more intense type of collaboration, for instance through a strategic alliance or acquisition of the venture. In this paper we investigate when CVC investments evolve into a more intense form of collaboration between the two firms. We develop our arguments around a number of possible determinants. Our hypotheses predict that the likelihood of a follow-on investment in the form of a more intense type of collaboration depends on dyad-level characteristics such as the stage of investment, the number of investment rounds the firm participates in, the size of the investment, the share in the portfolio firm vis-à-vis co-investors, and the technological distance and geographical / cultural differences (same economic block) between the investor and the portfolio firm.

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