Management Review Quarterly

, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 3–36 | Cite as

The determinants of startup valuation in the venture capital context: a systematic review and avenues for future research

  • Andreas Köhn


Startup valuation in the venture capital (VC) context is often said to be more art than science. In view of this, it is particularly important to be aware of and understand the different underlying determinants that affect the valuation of startups. This paper conducts a systematic review of the existing empirical literature to illustrate the determinants of startup valuations in the VC context. Beyond that, the paper seeks to provide an organizing structure to the current literature as well as to detect academic voids and directions for future research. To achieve these goals, it develops an integrative framework for the factors determining startup valuations in the VC environment, which should be of use to both practitioners and researchers. That framework illustrates how startup valuations in the VC context are shaped by a three-sided interplay of factors related to startups, venture capitalists, and the external environment.


Startups Valuation Venture capital Entrepreneurial finance Literature review 

JEL Classification

G24 G32 L26 M13 



I thank Andreas Kuckertz and Patrick Röhm, of the University of Hohenheim, for their useful and valuable comments on previous versions of this paper. In addition, I am grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive and insightful feedback. Finally, I express my gratitude to Renzo Cordina, Antonio Davila, David H. Hsu, Arthur Korteweg, Morten Sorensen, Noam Wasserman, and Yi Yang for the highly valuable and helpful email correspondence.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (pdf 9 KB)
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Supplementary material 2 (pdf 5 KB)
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Supplementary material 3 (pdf 5 KB)


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© Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marketing and ManagementUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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