Formal Governance Design for Co-opetiton in the Context of Corporate Venture Capital Investments

2019-01-03T19:47:27Z (GMT) by Hsin-Ju Bien
Entrepreneurial ventures face a trade-off when receiving corporate venture capital (CVC) financing. They need to give sufficient control rights to motivate and enable corporate investors to provide exclusive resources. However, giving control rights to CVCs whose strategic goals could cause a conflict of interest and lead to opportunism also puts the ventures at risk. This dissertation shows that third-party involvement with the design of passive control rights can be a solution to the trade-off.

By examining venture capital financing contracts in high-tech industries, Essay 1 found that veto power, a prevailing passive control right, of the third party can protect the vulnerable side in the cooperation without hurting the other side’s incentive to contribute. Moreover, two types of veto rights are identified and found to have diverse responses to conflict-of-interest factors in CVC-entrepreneur relationships. The effects of knowledge overlap, CVC parents’ research and development capability, and ventures’ technological quality on the liable third party’s veto power are studied. With a focus on the function of passive control rights, Essay 2 and Essay 3 maintain that allocating control rights can significantly affect the innovation of both CVC corporate parents and CVC-backed ventures under difference contingencies. In particular, as the aforementioned dilemma increases when CVCs’ corporate parents and portfolio firms are competing in product markets, Essay 2 shows that ventures’ innovation performance can benefit from granting CVCs strong active control rights in the condition of low product market overlap and from granting CVCs strong passive control rights within a high product market overlap.

On the other hand, Essay 3 shows that CVCs’ control rights will moderate the inverted Ushaped relationship between knowledge overlap and the innovation performance of the corporate parents such that the positive effect of knowledge overlap on CVC parents’ innovation at lower levels of knowledge similarity will be less positive, and the negative effect of knowledge overlap on CVC parents’ innovation at higher levels of knowledge similarity will be less negative, for CVCs with greater control power over their portfolio ventures. Moreover, the moderating effect of active control right is stronger than the moderating effect of passive control right under high degree of technological knowledge overlap between a CVC parent and the CVC’s portfolio ventures. Meanwhile, the moderating effect of passive control rights is stronger than the moderating effect of active control right under high degree of technological knowledge overlap between a CVC parent and the CVC’s portfolio ventures.