Young, unproven firms can signal their worthiness, or potential, through affiliations with various types of prestigious parties. Drawing from signaling theory, we present a formal consideration of the implications of multiple numbers and types of prestigious affiliates for IPO valuations. We argue that different types of prestigious affiliates - prestigious executives, directors, venture capital firms, and underwriters - convey different signals of IPO worth, depending on the extent to which they provide certification or substantive benefits. Based on a sample of 257 software IPOs, we find considerable support for our expectations. The benefits of prestigious executives and directors accumulate in a linear, more is better fashion; in contrast, the payoffs from VC and underwriter prestige accumulate in a curvilinear fashion. We discuss the theoretical implications of these findings and propose an agenda for future research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation