This thesis investigates whether venture capitalists in Europe have a positive impact on the operating and long-run market performance of firms they bring public. To examine this issue a hand-collected international data set of venture- and non venture-backed IPOs at the French
Neuer Markt, and British
techMARK dating from 1996 to 1999 is used. The findings suggest that there are substantial variations in the experience and sophistication of venture capitalists. Moreover, venture-backed IPOs do not generally outperform non venture-backed issues, irrespective of the applied performance measure. Instead, merely the more experienced international venture capitalists appear to have positive effects on both the operating and market performance of portfolio firms. The overall results are interpreted as evidence for the heterogeneity of venture capitalists operating in the European market.