Saturday, April 18, 2020

Be Careful What You Ask For: Fundraising Strategies in Equity Crowdfunding, by Thomas Hellmann, Ilona Mostipan, and Nir Vulkan, Working Paper 2019

What amount of funding should I ask in crowdfunding? When should I close my campaigns? These are basic yet important questions in the entrepreneurs' mind. 

A new study by Thomas Hellmann, Ilona Mostipan, and Nir Vulkan provides some insights. Their main finding is that what an entrepreneur asked in the campaign has a positive impact on the amount of funding s/he gets in the end: people who ask for more tend to raise more money!

Using the proprietary data from SEEDRS, they observe the amount of funding an entrepreneur asks for, how much equity is issued in return when to close the campaign, and how much money s/he raised.

Their results show the usefulness of experience and education. Teams with more entrepreneurial experience (business education) ask for more money upfront, have a higher (the same) probability of success, end up raising more money. Interestingly, the additional funding amount is fully reflected in the higher campaign goals.

As for gender effects, the real world still seems unequal. Female teams ask for lower fundraising goals and lower valuations. They also receive lower investment flows.

Hellmann T, Mostipan I, Vulkan N. Be careful what you ask for: Fundraising strategies in equity crowdfunding[R]. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2019.