We document a positive effect of product market competition (PMC) on venture capital (VC) staging. Employing large tariff rate reductions as an exogenous shock to PMC, we find that large tariff reductions lead to a greater likelihood of staged financing and a larger number of financing rounds. Cross-sectional analyses reveal that the effect is stronger for entrepreneurial firms that are younger, operate in high-tech and manufacturing industries, or receive investments from less reputable and inexperienced VCs. Our findings are consistent with the notion that by mitigating business uncertainty and survival risk, VC staging acts as a complement to PMC for enhancing entrepreneurial firms’ success.
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