The evaluation criteria used by venture capitalists: evidence from a UK venture fund

2011-01-04T16:18:56Z (GMT) by Grahame Boocock Margaret Woods
Grahame Boocock and Margaret Woods are Lecturers in Banking and Finance, and Financial Management, respectively at Loughborough University Business School, England. The paper examines how venture fund managers select their investee companies, by exploring the evaluation criteria and the decision making process adopted at one UK Regional Venture Fund (henceforth referred to as the Fund). The analysis confirms that relatively consistent evaluation criteria are applied across the industry and corroborates previous models which suggest that venture capitalists’ decision making consists of several stages. With the benefit of access to the Fund’s internal records, however, this paper adds to the current literature by differentiating the evaluation criteria used at each successive stage of the decision-making process. The paper presents a model of the Fund’s activities which demonstrates that the relative importance attached to the evaluation criteria changes as applications are systematically processed. Proposals have to satisfy different criteria at each stage of the decision-making process before they receive funding. In the vast majority of cases, applications are rejected by the fund managers. In addition, the length of time taken by the fund managers in appraising propositions can lead to the withdrawal of applications at an advanced stage.