This paper documents pre- and post-IPO (initial public offering) differences in the performance of venture capital financed Israeli companies in comparison with other high-tech firms during the period 1991 to 2000.

Using a newly constructed database we find that:

(1) the probability of survival until the IPO stage is higher for venture-backed companies, and

(2) according to several different measures, conditional on making an IPO, the post-listing performance of venture-backed companies is not statistically different from that of companies financed by non-venture financiers throughout the 1990s. One interpretation of these findings is that venture capital funds increase the survival rates of young technology-intensive firms; another is that there are fundamental - though not always observable - differences between venture-backed companies and other high technology firms and venture capital funds select companies which are inherently more likely to go public. Both interpretations indicate that venture-backed companies are associated with low "infant mortality," but not with stellar post-IPO performance.

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