UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome Professor Lynn Wu, The Wharton School, to host a research seminar discussing ‘Innovation Strategy after IPO: How AI Analytics Spurs Innovation after IPO’.
We examine the role of AI analytics in facilitating innovation in firms that have gone through IPO. Using patent data on over 1,000 publicly traded firms, we find that firms acquiring AI analytics capability post-IPO experience less of a decline in innovation quality compared to similar firms that have not acquired that capability. This effect is greater when only machine learning capabilities are considered. Moreover, we find this sustained rate of innovation is driven principally by the continued development of innovations that combine existing technologies into new ones—a form of innovation that is especially well supported by analytics. By examining three main mechanisms that hampered post-IPO innovation, we find that AI analytics can ameliorate the pressure to meet short-term financial goals and disclosure requirements. However, it has limited effect in addressing managerial incentives. For firms with long product cycles, the disclosure effect is reduced to a greater extent than it is for those with short cycles. Overall, our results show the importance of examining technology as a critical input factor in innovation. We show that the increased deployment of analytics may reduce some of the innovative penalties suffered by IPOs, and that investors and managers can potentially mitigate post-IPO reductions in innovative output by directing capital acquired in the IPO process to the acquisition of AI analytics capabilities.