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The effect of venture capital backing on companies’ subsequent lobbying efforts

Ekin Alakent (California State University, Hayward, California, USA)
Mine Ozer (SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta, New York, USA)
M. Sinan Goktan (California State University, Hayward, California, USA)

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

ISSN: 2045-2101

Article publication date: 6 September 2019

Issue publication date: 11 September 2019




The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of venture capital (VC) funding as a form of ownership on lobbying strategies of venture-backed companies.


The sample consists of venture-backed IPO companies between 1999 and 2014. The authors collected IPO data from the Thompson Securities Data Company (SDC) database. The authors collected VC data from SDC VentureXpert database and lobbying data from the Center for Responsive Politics database (


Consistent with the hypotheses, the authors find that VC-backed companies spend less on lobbying compared to non-VC-backed counterparts. However, this relationship is moderated by companies’ R&D intensity. R&D intensive VC-backed companies choose to spend more on lobbying.

Research limitations/implications

The research indicates that although VC backing has a negative impact on lobbying efforts, R&D intensity creates an incentive for VC-backed companies to spend more on lobbying in order to shape public policy to their benefit. The study consists of VC-backed companies that are public. The authors believe that future research can explore political strategies of VC-backed companies during their pre-IPO stage.

Social implications

The authors believe that political strategies are powerful yet underutilized resources that VC-backed companies can rely on to shift industries and invest in innovative products that challenge norms and fight the status quo. Lobbying and other forms of political involvement can help them shape public policy.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the study makes a unique contribution to the literature by exploring the political strategies of VC-backed companies.



Alakent, E., Ozer, M. and Goktan, M.S. (2019), "The effect of venture capital backing on companies’ subsequent lobbying efforts", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 241-253.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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