Owners and CEOs of Startups: Evidence from Russia

  • Olga Guseva
  • Anastasia Stepanova


In this paper, the authors focus on two primary governance mechanisms which can be considered as sources of support for startup companies: the company’s ownership contingent and the company’s management personnel. Based on
descriptive statistics from a sample of 416 Skolkovo start-ups from the ‘Nuclear’ and ‘Space’ clusters, and a Start-up-Barometer survey of 300 IT-entrepreneurs, this work provides new insights into ownership and management characteristics
of Russian startups and the interplay between these dynamics.
The Russian venture market presents an interesting case of an emerging market with a number of successful startups in
a challenging economic environment. The supply of venture capital for Russian startups is restricted by the presence of
sanctions and legal restrictions on the investments of financial institutions such as pension funds and banks. Therefore,
similar to other developed and developing markets, the most significant source of investments for Russian startups is
In this paper we show that startups with different characteristics attract different kinds of investors, which is reflected in
the companies ownership structures. In particular, government development institutes are more interested in investing
in nuclear-focused startups, while corporate investors tend to keep a higher level of control over startups compared to
other investors. We also confirmed the presence of correlations between different types of owners: government development institutions, corporate investors, venture funds, and family members. Additionally, the size of equity share for all
types of owners (except family members) was found to be negatively correlated with the CEO’s share in the ownership
Although the purpose of the article is descriptive, it motivates further research on the sources of support of startup
growth, including relative importance of such sources and their effects on startup performance.


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Как цитировать
GusevaO. и StepanovaA. (2019) «Owners and CEOs of Startups: Evidence from Russia», Journal of Corporate Finance Research / Корпоративные Финансы | ISSN: 2073-0438, 13(1), сс. 107-119. doi: 10.17323/j.jcfr.2073-0438.13.1.2019.107-119.

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