Digital Ventures: Current State of Research and Future Directions - A Systematic Literature Review

Minna Maaria Tuuli

Student thesis: Master thesis


Digital ventures are shaping business and the whole society, one industry at a time. Some of these ventures are impactful enough to change our habits and social norms, like Uber has done to the transportation sector or Facebook to the social media sector. While digital ventures have become a medium for handling plenty of the aspects of our everyday lives, yet the overall picture of how these ventures work and what are their main elements and patterns is missing. The purpose of this study is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current state of knowledge on digital ventures as found in academic literature. Simultaneously, the paper seeks to address how these ventures differ from traditional organizations. Through a systematic literature review, this study is systematically capturing knowledge from 47 academic journals and conference papers studying the topic. The main findings are the following. Digital ventures are unique by their value creation process based on scaling a large user base, the founder teams high-level of risk tolerance leading to more flexibilities in the business, the common usage of the lean start-up approach for settling the right technology design, and the use of financing and successful IPOs as a measurement of venture success. Furthermore, the findings of the liability of newness, the value creation components, the lean start-up approach, and the impact of financing and IPOs, are also adaptable for traditional organizations, but with gradually different motives and impacts. This study represents theoretical and managerial implications through understanding the characteristics of digital ventures and their differences in the stages of the growth journey. The paper is useful for laying a basis for further research, to understanding the current state of digital ventures, and to understand better the future developments of businesses.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and E-business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages89
SupervisorsPhilipp Hukal