Kicking Off the Corporate Governance Lifecycle: Seed Funding, Venture Capital and the Nascent Board

Un article de Peter Wirtz et Nils Lang.

Studying the creation of venture boards in a hand‐collected sample of 296 VC investment rounds in 132 German high‐tech ventures, we find that risk exposure and investor syndication are strong predictors of whether a formal board is created or not. Our setup allows to study the creation of the nascent board in a legal context where its existence is voluntary and at the same time imposes a strong cost on its members through personal liability. We find that the probability of board creation strongly increases with the amount invested and with conflicting interests among multiple investors. The need for a formalized corporate governance in form of a board is most amplified in seed rounds with three or more syndicating investors, in follow‐on rounds with the entrance of any additional institutional investor, and in the presence of pre‐planned exit. Hence, a venture board is most required when the stakes are high and when the divergence of interests among principals is amplified.