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Hidden in Plain Sight: Venture Growth with or without Venture Capital -- by Christian Catalini, Jorge Guzman, Scott Stern

The majority of IPOs and acquisitions are achieved without venture capital financing, yet research has focused mostly on VC backed firms. Using founding choices and a predictive analytics approach on virtually all US registered businesses, we shed light into these “missing” growth firms. Founding choices that predict raising venture capital also strongly predict equity exits without VC. Firms with growth potential are similar to each other, irrespective of funding source. Moreover, matching firms that are born with identical observables, but only differ in whether they receive venture capital, suggests an upper bound to the returns to venture capital of 600%.