What Fuels Growth? A Comparative Analysis of the Scaling Intensity of AI Start-ups

Mattias Schulte-Althoff, Daniel Fürstenau, Gene Moo Lee, Hannes Rothe, Robert J. Kauffman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


We examine how firm revenue scales with labor for revenue-per-employee (RPE) and is moderated by firm-level AI investment. We compare AI start-ups, in which AI provides a competitive advantage, with digital platforms and service start-ups. We use propensity score matching to explain the scaling of start-ups and find evidence for sublinear scaling intensity for revenue as a function of labor. Our study suggests similar scaling intensities between AI and service start-ups, while platform start-ups produce higher scaling intensities. We show that an increase in employee counts is associated with major revenue increases for platform start-ups, while increases were modest for service and AI start-ups.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2022
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventThe 32nd Workshop on Information Technologies and Systems - Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 14 Dec 202216 Dec 2022
Conference number: 32


WorkshopThe 32nd Workshop on Information Technologies and Systems
LocationCopenhagen Business School
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