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How Venture Capital Firms Choose Syndication Partners: The Moderating Effects of Institutional Uncertainty and Investment Preference

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 July 2021

Lu Zheng
Tsinghua University, China
Likun Cao
University of Chicago, USA
Jie Ren*
Tsinghua University, China
Xibao Li
Tsinghua University, China
Ximing Yin
Beijing Institute of Technology, China
Jin Chen
Tsinghua University, China
Corresponding author: Jie Ren (


This study investigates how venture capital firms (VCs) choose syndication partners. Exponential random graph models of Chinese VC syndication networks from 2006 to 2013 show that the homophily mechanism does not always determine VCs’ partner selection. In selecting partners, VCs have to strike a balance between reducing uncertainty and mobilizing heterogeneous resources. Therefore, decisions about partners depend on institutional uncertainty and VCs’ investment preferences. While VCs that focus on traditional business in an immature market are more likely to form homogeneous syndications, their peers that prefer to invest in innovative companies and that can rely on a stable market tend to syndicate with heterogeneous partners.




Это исследование изучает, как венчурные компании (ВК) выбирают партнеров для объединения в синдикаты. Методы экспоненциальных случайных графов для моделирования сетей синдикации китайских венчурных компаний в период с 2006 по 2013 годов показывают, что механизм гомогенности не всегда определяет выбор партнеров для венчурных компаний. При выборе партнеров венчурные компании должны соблюдать баланс между снижением степени неопределенности и мобилизацией разнообразных ресурсов. Следовательно, решения о выборе партнеров зависят от институциональной неопределенности и инвестиционных преференций венчурных компаний. В то время как венчурные компании, которые сосредоточены на традиционном бизнесе на незрелом рынке, с большей вероятностью образуют однородные синдикаты, их коллеги, которые предпочитают инвестировать в инновационные компании и могут полагаться на стабильный рынок, как правило, объединяются в синдикаты с разнородными партнерами.


Este estudio investiga cómo las empresas de capital de riesgo (VCs por sus iniciales en inglés) eligen sus socios de sindicación. Los modelos grafos aleatorios de las redes de sindicación de empresas de capital de riesgo chinas entre el 2006 y el 2013 muestran que los mecanismos de homofilia no siempre determinan la selección de socios por parte de las empresas de capital de riesgo. En la selección de socios las empresas de capital de riesgo tienen que encontrar un equilibrio entre reducir la incertidumbre y la movilización de recursos heterogéneos. Mientras que las empresas de capital de riesgo que se enfocan en negocios tradicionales en un mercado inmaduro son más propensas a formar sindicaciones homogéneas, sus pares que prefieren invertir en compañías innovadoras y que pueden confiar en un mercado estable tienden a sindicarse con socios heterogéneos.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The International Association for Chinese Management Research

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ACCEPTED BY Senior Editor Lin Cui



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