“Information Externality of CVC Investments: How Does It Affect Other Firms’ Acquisition Target Selections in Technology Industries?” by Ms. Zhuo Chen
Ms. Zhuo Chen
Doctoral Candidate in Strategic Management
Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business
Existing research in strategy and entrepreneurship has mainly focused on the real-options value of CVC investments. They suggest that CVC investments represent an essential mechanism for the parent company to identify early-stage technologies and limit downside risks. I contribute to this literature by proposing that these CVC investments reveal the parent company’s strategic intent, which can attract other firms’ attention and accordingly affect the latter’s strategic actions, creating what I call information externality of CVC investments. Using a comprehensive dataset that tracks 608 publicly-listed U.S. firms in five high-tech industries between 1990 and 2017, I find that the focal firm is more likely to acquire ventures in a technology domain with a higher intensity of other firms’ CVC involvement. Moreover, this relationship will be amplified if the focal firm has high technological proximity to the technology domain. I also find that the focal firm is more likely to acquire ventures that have received funding from other CVCs, and the technological proximity between the focal firm and a CVC investor is positively related to the likelihood that the focal firm will acquire a venture invested by the CVC investor.