Equity crowdfunding, market timing, and firm capital structure

In a new paper, forthcoming in a special issue on equity crowdfunding in The Journal of Technology Transfer, we examine the impact of market timing on the capital structure of private firms that raise initial equity crowdfunding (ECF). Our sample includes firms financed via either Crowdcube or Seedrs, the two largest UK ECF platforms. We find that in hot markets, ECF firms set higher targets, collect more overfunding, and thus raise more equity capital than ECF firms in cold markets. Surprisingly, however, and inconsistent with a market timing theory of capital structure, we fail to find differences between the leverage ratios of hot- and cold-market firms from the year of the ECF campaign. This finding is explained by hot-market ECF firms contemporaneously rebalancing their capital structure by attracting more debt, especially financial debt.

Cerpentier, M., Vanacker, T., Paeleman, I. and Bringmann K. (2021) Equity crowdfunding, market timing, and firm capital structure. The Journal of Technology Transfer.
The article is available as ‘Online First’, please see:

Vacancy for a Ph.D. student

See PhD Student — Ghent University (ugent.be) for the full job description and details on how to apply for this vacancy.

  • Fundamental and applied research will be performed at Ghent University under the supervision of prof. Joke Baeck (Faculty of Law and Criminology), prof. Klaas Mulier (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration), and prof. Thomas Demeester (Faculty of Engineering and Architecture).
  • The proposed research fits within the FWO-funded research project “Evaluation of distressed enterprises using explainable machine learning: construction of an artificial intelligence algorithm to assist judges in Belgian Enterprise Courts”.
  • The activities of the PhD are embedded in a stimulating interdisciplinary environment, with the focus on contributions in explainable AI and corporate bankruptcy prediction, within the setting of law.
  • The PhD candidate will thus work on the intersection between Data Science, Corporate Finance and Bankruptcy Law. Depending on the candidate’s preference, emphasis can be placed either on the economic aspect (within the Corporate Finance research group), or on the computer science part (within the Internet and Data Science research group).


  • In close collaboration with the supervisors as well as a post-doctoral researcher with expertise in both computer science and law, the Ph.D. candidate will apply machine learning techniques and tools to mine and leverage economic enterprise data (such as balance sheets and profit & loss accounts) for predicting corporate distress and potential bankruptcy to assist judges.
  • Numerical data as well as free-text notes will be injected into the models, which will require a considerable level of transparency and explainability in order to be valuable in practice.
  • Model evaluations will be performed iteratively in collaboration with Enterprise Court judges in Flanders and/or on a wider geographic scale.
  • The candidate will also contribute to developing proof-of-concept tools and rolling out field tests at Belgian Enterprise Courts.
  • The candidate will present research results at major international conferences and publish in international peer reviewed journals, as part of meeting the requirements for the PhD.

Call for Papers – Special Issue of Small Business Economics

Recent developments in technology and regulation have led to new forms of entrepreneurial finance. New players and new ways to finance entrepreneurial firms have emerged or will emerge (Block et al., 2018). Some financial instruments like crowdfunding in its various forms have found their way into the entrepreneur’s toolbox and are on their way of getting mature, whilst others like initial coin offerings (ICOs) are only now becoming available but have a huge potential to shape the entrepreneurial finance landscape in the future. This special issue intends to increase our understanding of these new forms of entrepreneurial finance, with a particular focus on crowdfunding, blockchain technology and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Submissions to the special issue should be sent electronically with the subject line “SBE Crowdfunding and blockchain Special Issue” to silvio.vismara@unibg.it before October 31, 2018.

Call for papers (pdf)