ICOs have recently emerged as a promising mechanism for raising capital for blockchain based technology start-ups. However, due to their unregulated nature, actual operation has been fraught with challenges including frauds and security breaches leading to loss of investor money. We investigate how the entrepreneurs behind them legitimate their enterprises in this emerging funding system. By analyzing over 4000 start-up pitches to investors, we investigate whether competing emphases on isomorphic adaptation, strategic affiliation and theorization in the quest to achieve legitimacy help startups achieve their ICO funding goals. Our investigation contributes to the nascent literature on ICO success and potentially uncovers useful insights on how very early stage companies manage investor perceptions to obtain funding necessary for survival.



When commenting on articles, please be friendly, welcoming, respectful and abide by the AIS eLibrary Discussion Thread Code of Conduct posted here.