Cases of start-up financing: An analysis of new venture capitalisation structures and patterns

Andrew Atherton (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: This paper seeks to understand the dynamics of new venture financing across 20 business start-ups.

    Design/methodology/approach: A total of 20 cases were explored, via initial discussions with the founder(s), and follow-up contact to confirm sources of financing acquired during new venture creation. This approach was adopted because of the challenges associated with acquiring full details of start-up financing, and in particular informal forms of new venture financing.

    Findings: Significant variation in, and scale of, new venture financing was identified. In multiple cases, funding patterns did not tally with established explanations of small business financing. Research limitations/implications: The primary limitation of the analysis is the focus on a small number of individual cases. Although this allowed for more detailed analysis, it does not make the findings applicable across the small business population as a whole. New ventures acquired very different forms of finance, and in different configurations or "bundles", so creating a wide range of start-up financing patterns and overall levels of capitalisation. This suggests that multiple factors influence founder decisions on start-up funding acquisition. It also indicates the wide divergence between highly capitalised and under-capitalised start-ups.

    Practical implications: Many of the new ventures were started with low levels of capitalisation, which as the literature suggests is a strong determinant of reduced prospects for survival. This suggests a possible "financing deficit", rather than gap, for a proportion of business start-ups.

    Originality/value: The paper provides an alternative methodology for considering new venture financing, and as a result concludes that standard, rational theories of small business financing may not always hold for new ventures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)28-47
    Number of pages20
    JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research (IJEBR)
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Business formation
    • Business start-up
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Financing
    • New venture


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