Venture Capital Data: Opportunities and Challenges
by Steven N. Kaplan and Josh Lerner
Executive Summary — Venture capital is a relatively small financial institution receiving a large amount of theoretical, empirical, policy, and media interest—perhaps because venture capital encompasses the extremes of corporate finance challenges: uncertainty, information asymmetry, and asset intangibility—and yet has been successful at growing many leading companies. This paper looks at the availability of information about venture capital. While it is it is difficult to paint in definitive terms the level of investment activity and fund performance, the quality of information available has increased in recent years and will likely continue to do so going forward.
The authors describe describe the available data and research on venture capital investments and performance, and comment on the challenges inherent in those data and research as well as possible opportunities to do better.