Gender Differences in Equity Crowdfunding
Online peer-to-peer investment platforms are increasingly popular venues for entrepreneurs and investors to engage in financial transactions without the involvement of banks and loan managers. Despite their purported transparency and lack of bias, it is unclear whether social inequalities present in traditional capital markets transfer to these platforms as well, impeding their hoped revolutionary potential. In this paper we analyze nearly four years' worth of data from one of the leading UK-based equity crowdfunding platforms. Specifically, we investigate gender-related differences in patterns of entrepreneurship, investment, and success. In agreement with offline trends, men have more activity on the platform. Yet, women entrepreneurs benefit of higher success rates in fund-raising, a finding that mimics trends seen on some rewards-based crowdfunding platforms. Surprisingly, we also find that female investors tend to choose campaigns that have lower success rates. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of gender-related discrepancies in success on the online capital market and point to differences in activity that are key factors in the apparent patterns of gender inequality.