Growing pains and blessings

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Decision Support Systems, Volume 157
The equity crowdfunding industry has grown significantly in the past decade. Industry life cycle theory suggests that growth dynamics and relations between stakeholders change as industries mature. The present study examines the characteristics and implications of maturation in the equity crowdfunding industry via the lens of industry life cycle theory. Specifically, we explore whether the industry is reverting to traditional entrepreneurial finance practice, or whether it retains its original distinguishing characteristics. Accordingly, we first assess changes with respect to users (investors) and products (campaigns and investment objects). Second, we assess the implications of these changes by comparing the determinants of fundraising campaign success in earlier and later industry stages. We use a longitudinal database and survey data sourced from a long-standing European equity crowdfunding platform. We show that equity crowdfunding seems to be converging towards traditional entrepreneurial finance practice, yet maintaining certain unique features stemming from digitality, platform nature, and investor diversity. Specifically, we show that (1) fundraising ventures and their campaigns have become larger and more professional, and (2) engaged investors became more knowledgeable and return-oriented. Accordingly, traditional investment criteria, such as team and commercial terms ratings, have become more important predictors of campaign success, and easily observable campaign characteristics, such as B2C business models, and minimum investment thresholds, less so. The findings support platform managers and entrepreneurs as they plan for campaigns seeking to attract investors in the industry's later stages.
Funding Information: The authors wish to thank Wanxiang Cai, Armin Schwienbacher, Hannele Wallenius, and the participants at the 4th European Alternative Finance Research Conference for their helpful suggestions and support. This work was supported by the Foundation for the Advancement of Finnish Securities Markets. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors
Equity crowdfunding, Fundraising success, Industry lifecycle, Platform, Product lifecycle
Other note
Lukkarinen , A , Shneor , R & Wallenius , J 2022 , ' Growing pains and blessings : Manifestations and implications of equity crowdfunding industry maturation ' , Decision Support Systems , vol. 157 , 113768 .