HEC Paris PhD Candidate Maxime Bonelli, wins the EFA Doctoral Tutorial Prize 2022
Title: The Adoption of Artificial Intelligence by Venture Capitalists
I study the effects of artificial intelligence (AI) adoption by venture capitalists (VCs) to screen investment opportunities. First, I document a series of new facts. After AI adoption, VCs augment their investments in ``backward-similar'' startups, i.e., based on business ideas tried and tested by previous startups. Among these, VCs become better at picking high-quality startups that will survive and receive follow-on funding. However, VCs become less likely to finance startups that will achieve major breakthroughs, e.g., IPO or patenting. This is consistent with AI using historical data informative about "backward-similar" startups but not about breakthrough innovations. Second, for causal identification, I exploit a shock increasing some VCs' number of potential investment opportunities and thus incentive to adopt AI to automate screening. I find that VCs more exposed to the shock are more likely to adopt AI, and then to invest in "backward-similar'' startups that are of high-quality but nevertheless less likely to achieve an IPO. My results suggest that AI adoption by VCs might not enable more funding of breakthrough innovations.
Background: Before beginning his doctoral studies at HEC Paris, Maxime worked as a quantitative researcher in the asset management industry for more than four years. He holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics (Inria), a Master in Economics (Ecole polytechnique - ENSAE - HEC Paris) and an Engineering degree in Applied Mathematics (Ecole Polytechnique Université Nice Sophia Antipolis).
Maxime will be on the academic job market during the 2022-2023 academic year. Visit his website here.