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On performance drivers of European Fintechs around venture capital: exploring the role of founders’ experience

Aymen Turki (ESC Clermont Business School and CleRMa, Clermont-Ferrand, France)
Robert Rieg (Faculty Management and Business Science, Aalen University, Aalen, Germany)

Review of Accounting and Finance

ISSN: 1475-7702

Article publication date: 13 September 2023

Issue publication date: 1 November 2023




Many observers believe that industry experience of entrepreneurs drives successful new entrepreneurial firms. However, whenever it comes to disruptive digital ventures such as Financial Technologies (Fintechs), the picture may be different due to the cross-industry nature of digital firms. The purpose of this study is to disentangle the impacts of finance, banking and information technology (IT) experiences of founders on performance of European Fintechs around venture capital (VC) investment.


Based on a data set of 105 Fintechs from European countries, including UK, which are involved in 201 VC rounds between 2006 and 2019, the authors adopt a Bayesian quantile approach to link founders’ experience with two performance measures that identify market success (return on sales) and investment outcome (return on equity).


The findings indicate that finance and IT-specific experiences seem to matter more often than banking experience and that the extent of their impact depends on level and metric of performance. More specifically, Fintechs in Europe and UK are more able to achieve market success with both finance and IT experiences of their founders, but that does not necessarily transform into higher returns for investors.


This study provides new evidence that not all aspects of industry experience matter for digital ventures, as they must fit to a certain firm, cycle and industry. For Fintech, as the name says, finance and IT experiences matter.



The authors are grateful to participants in the 2023 Clermont Financial Innovation Workshop and in the 2022 Birmingham Business School research seminar for helpful comments.


Turki, A. and Rieg, R. (2023), "On performance drivers of European Fintechs around venture capital: exploring the role of founders’ experience", Review of Accounting and Finance, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 682-699.



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