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Why corporates syndicate their investments with a specific partner? An explorative analysis of corporate venture capital co-investments


The 80% of corporates that engage in CVC activities, make these investments with other corporates, recognizing the strategic benefits provided by co-investors. Despite the relevance of this phenomenon, no studies focus on the motivations that drive a corporate to syndicate its investments and most important there are no researches that investigate antecedents that drive a corporate in choosing the partner with whom to syndicate the CVC investments. Thus, the aim of this paper is to study why corporates syndicate their CVC investment with a specific partner. Based on the CVC and the alliance literatures we propose a research framework that considers two main elements characterizing a CVC syndication, the backed start-up (where to search) and the co-investor (with whom to search). By using data gathered from the VentureXpert database, we conduct an exploratory analysis of the CVC syndication activities of 62 corporates that engaged in CVC syndication in a twenty-year time window. We found that, when syndicating their CVC investments, corporates are driven by the innovation capacity of the industry in which they operate; by complementary resources of the partner which whom they co-invest; and by the regime of intellectual property protection of the industry in which they run business.