Geneviève Helleringer receives French CY research award

Geneviève Helleringer has received a research award from the French CY initiative fund for scientific excellence of €210,000 to lead a 4-year comparative research project on venture capital contracting.

Venture capital finances innovative start-ups via investment in equity. VC investment agreements include terms relating to as repartition of the value between founders and investors, information, voting and exit rights. Such contractual terms respond to a dilemma: how to structure relationships among founders and investors to take into account the risk of opportunistic behaviours, as well as the need for efficient decision-making?

The project, “Venture Capital Contracting in the US compared to France, Germany and Italy”,  articulates a core comparative study on the practices of VC contracting, a theoretical enquiry on contracting in civil jurisdictions, and the building of an international pluri-disciplinary research community. The primary goal of the project is to compare VC contractual practices in the US, France, Italy and Germany, to identify similarities, differences, as well as to explain them, relying on a range of analyses.

This comparative project also has the potential to set the debate on the approach to the evolution of contract law under the pressure of contractual imports, demonstrating that substantive European codified contract law has limited relevance to agreements that leverage freedom of contract and are entirely organised around US-style VC clauses.