Venture Capitalists and COVID-19

Paul Gompers, Will Gornall, Steven N Kaplan, and Ilya A. Strebulaev

We survey over one thousand venture capitalists (VCs) on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their decisions and investments. VCs expect aggregate returns to be largely unchanged because winners have offset losers. This suggests the primary impact of COVID-19 has been an increase in volatility and uncertainty. We find only moderate evidence of disruption to VC capital flows. Despite the historical importance of in-person meetings, VCs do not report difficulty finding quality entrepreneurs. We also find little change in how VC allocate their time. Finally, our outcome measures are not correlated with local COVID-19 impact.