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Groupe de Recherche ANgevin en Économie et Management

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Investors’ Behaviors in Equity Crowdfunding



Research team





The objective is to study the attitudes of different categories of investors to the new ECF platforms as a new funding mechanism for start-ups, using recent advances in behavioral finance. This type of investment decision is characterized by a high degree of uncertainty in the so-called early-stage phases, as start-ups are young innovative companies with high growth potential but high risk. Although particularly complex, external financing early in their life cycle is essential to their development. However, this depends in part on the type of investors mobilized or the combination of investor categories. The aim of our research is to understand the driving forces behind the decision to participate in ECF platforms, both in France and abroad. We seek to deduce ways to improve the financing of start-ups through these new practices.


Project's goals


The main objective of the project is to analyze the obstacles and advantages of financing start-ups via equity crowdfunding while respecting the protection of the investor.

This general goal can be broken down into three aspects:

  • To better understand the attitude of investors (risk, ambiguity and loss)
  • Understanding new co-investment mechanisms
  • Identify how to increase the financing of start-ups on ECF platforms.




The originality of the research: while several recent studies have helped to better define the profile of individual investors, none has yet been devoted to the "risk-taking" dimension.

In this context, we complement the traditional approach (information asymmetry and signal theory) with an in-depth analysis of investor behavior in an uncertain universe (behavioral finance). The uncertain, and not only risky, nature of the project stems from its earliness and its degree of innovation, which makes it a unique and new object. The approach in terms of the risk/return couple is not absent from researches, but it proves to be particularly complicated in a private equity context. This probably explains why many studies have focused on the characteristics of the projects to be financed and not on the decision-making process of the potential investor.We differ from current research on the ECF, which is essentially descriptive, by also insisting on the conditions of success of a fundraising campaign through an analysis of the platform model and the characteristics of the projects being funded (Alhers et al., 2015, Vismara, 2017). Indeed, these studies have consisted of studying the conduct of ECF campaigns. Certain descriptive characteristics of the investors were taken into account and provide interesting information (gender, age, location). The influence of the presence of well-known informed investors or the share of capital retained by managers are also studied and are part of the signal theory.

An international dimension: to date, the first studies on the ECF have a national dimension and mobilize different scientific approaches. By adopting a unique methodology, relayed by researchers from several countries, we will try to generalize our results.

A pooling of skills: the team constituted within the University of Angers and internationally has complementary skills. Thus, we find specialists in the financing of start-ups including the ECF (C. Crapsky, A. Grasso, O. Lehner), behavioral finance (B. Séjourné), econometrics (E. Kurtbegu) and financial regulation (J. Chen and B. Coupez).