Digital Startup Access to Venture Capital Financing: What Signals Quality?

Nirjhar Nigam*, Christine Benetti, Sofia Johan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


What signals quality for digital startups seeking access to external finance? Analyzing a unique dataset from India, we investigate the impact of traditional quality signals (e.g., the founders’ years of experience, prior industry experience); networking signals (e.g., degrees from elite educational institutes, the breadth of an entrepreneurial team); and digital signals (e.g., the social media presence of the startup on multiple social media sites) on the access to venture capital financing. We find that while networking and digital signals positively impact access to financing, traditional human capital signals do not have any significant impact on the process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100743
Number of pages37
JournalEmerging markets review
Early online date6 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

We are grateful to anonymous reviewers and editors for their comments, suggestions that helped us to improve the quality of paper immensely. Thanks to University of Lorraine and Prof. Jean-Noel Ory and Prof. Vincent Braun for financing this project with University grant. We are also thankful to ICN Artem Business School for allowing us to present the paper in International conferences. We are also thankful to participants of internal and external seminars for their useful comments and suggestions. Lastly, we are thankful to Arnesh Bose for helping us in collecting data manually. Rest all errors and oversights are ours alone.


  • Startups
  • entrepreneurship
  • financing
  • Digital Signals
  • human capital
  • social media networking
  • venture capital
  • signals


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