Venture Capitalist Certification in Initial Public Offerings

Posted: 17 Nov 2009

See all articles by William L. Megginson

William L. Megginson

University of Oklahoma

Kathleen A. Weiss

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 1990


With more businesses going public, the certification of their value and offering price is a necessity, acting as a means of attracting investors and of enhancing further financial success. While auditors and underwriters typically certify the value of an initial public offering (IPO), venture capitalists, as investors in a firm, also have knowledge of the firm's value, leading researchers to explore the potential role of venture capitalists in certifying an IPO's offering price. The process of venture capital (VC) firm certification is described. Utilizing Investment Dealer's Digest Corporate Database (IDD), a representative sample of both VC backed and non-VC backed firms (320 each) is compiled, and matched for industry and offering size. The role of underwriters and auditors in certifying a firm's value is scrutinized, including their respective relationships with VC backed firms. The data regarding initial returns and offering expenses for IPOs are analyzed for both VC backed and non-VC backed firms. Venture capitalists are found to play a significant role in firm certification, including an implication of firm quality due to their investment in the firm. The data suggest that VC backed firms, when compared to non-VC backed firms, tend to be younger, typically comprised of assets of greater median book value, and have attained a larger percentage of equity in the IPO's capital structure. Additionally, VC backing often results in the utilization of higher quality underwriters and auditors, while simultaneously experiencing a decrease in costs associated with underpricing and underwriting. Although a few venture capitalists may cash-out of their investment following IPO, the majority of venture capitalists typically maintain their holdings in firms following the initial public offering. (AKP)

Keywords: Auditors, Institutional shareholders, Valuation, Venture capitalists, Initial public offerings (IPO), Venture capital, Underwriting, Rates of return, Certification

Suggested Citation

Megginson, William L. and Weiss, Kathleen A., Venture Capitalist Certification in Initial Public Offerings (1990). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN:

William L. Megginson (Contact Author)

University of Oklahoma ( email )

307 W Brooks, 205A Adams Hall
Norman, OK 73019
United States
(405) 325-2058 (Phone)
(405) 325-1957 (Fax)


Kathleen A. Weiss

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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