Article | Journal of Financial Economics | November 2013

Investment Cycles and Startup Innovation

by Ramana Nanda and Matthew Rhodes-Kropf


We find that VC-backed firms receiving their initial investment in hot markets are more likely to go bankrupt, but conditional on going public are valued higher on the day of their IPO, have more patents, and have more citations to their patents. Our results suggest that VCs invest in riskier and more innovative startups in hot markets (rather than just worse firms). This is true even for the most experienced VCs. Furthermore, our results suggest that the flood of capital in hot markets also plays a causal role in shifting investments to more novel startups—by lowering the cost of experimentation for early stage investors and allowing them to make riskier, and more novel, investments.

Keywords: venture capital; innovation; Market Cycles; Financing Risk; Risk and Uncertainty; Venture Capital; Investment; Innovation and Invention;


Nanda, Ramana, and Matthew Rhodes-Kropf. "Investment Cycles and Startup Innovation." Journal of Financial Economics 110, no. 2 (November 2013): 403–418.