Recently, corporate venture capital (CVC) has been gaining increasing attention worldwide as a special form of venturing through which non-financial corporations invest in target companies, usually technological firms, as start-ups. These investments mostly aim not at financial goals but constitute a strategic way for the corporation to obtain access to new technologies and innovations through financing entrepreneurial initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the connections between the core business of the parent company and its venturing investments, investigating, in particular, its “ambidexterity,” i.e., the ability of the CVC company to invest in ventures close to its core activities, exploiting internal resources and exploring new markets.
Stemming from the results of previous studies, this research has applied a discriminating analysis methodology to the 18 most active CVC companies in the world, all of which have technology innovation as the core business of the corporation, in the 2015/2017 period.
An evident correlation between the Financing Round (as the independent variable) and the Entrepreneurial Intensity (as the dependent variable) influences the CVCs investment policies and their behavior with respect to their ambidexterity. This link could also influence the strategic orientation of the CVC policy, forcing the company to appropriately govern and manage the starting nature and/or the variable nature of the CVC (ambidextrous, hybrid, dis-ambidextrous or random).
The current research has used only secondary data to explore the behavior of only 18 CVCs in a relatively short period. Thus, it would be advisable to extend the number of observations, to enlarge the period under investigation, and to retrieve field data to obtain more detailed and reliable results.
The main objective/contribution of this study is to understand if there is a correlation between the Financing Round (as the independent variable) and the Entrepreneurial Intensity (as the dependent variable) for the 18 most active CVCs in the world, according to CB Insights, in 2015–2017, adopting and further confirming the model by Rossi et al. (2019). The statistical investigation, based on the conclusions of that linear regression model, has highlighted a total or large correlation between these two variables for the current research perimeter, which includes CVC companies with technology as the core business of the corporation.
The study is compliant with ethical standards. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. The paper is the result of the common reflection of all the authors. In the editing phase, the “Introduction,” “Analysis of the results per year: 2015-2016-2017” and “Conclusion” sections were written by Matteo Rossi. The “Literature review,” “Construction of the theoretical framework of analysis” and “Research objective and methodology” sections were written by Giuseppe Festa. The “Global analysis of the results” section was written by Rosa Giacobbe. The “Specific evidence from the research,” “Scientific and managerial implications” and “Research limitations” sections were written by Fabio Fiano.
Rossi, M., Festa, G., Fiano, F. and Giacobbe, R. (2019), "To invest or to harvest? Corporate venture capital ambidexterity for exploiting/exploring innovation in technological business", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-05-2019-0204Download as .RIS
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