Venture capital 20 years on: Reflections on the evolution of a field

Richard Harrison, Colin Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reviews the circumstances surrounding the launch of Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance in 1999. It highlights a number of significant changes in the structure of the entrepreneurial finance market over the past 20 years, notably the decline of‘classic’ venture capital, the effective closure of the small-cap IPO market, the scale-up problem and the emergence of a second equity gap, and the institutionalisation of the business angel market. A number of new players in the market – coinvestment schemes, equity crowdfunding platforms and blockchain technology-based Initial Coin Offerings – are discussed and the challenges and opportunities they pose for investors, entrepreneurs, policy makers, regulators and academic researchers are assessed. Against this background, a number of key features of the evolution of the content and focus of the Journal are discussed. The paper finishes with a summary of the papers included in this Special Issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-34
JournalVenture Capital
Issue number1
Early online date21 Mar 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Mar 2019


  • entrepreneurial finance
  • angel groups and syndicates
  • coinvestment schemes
  • rquity crowdfunding
  • initial coin offerings


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