How Private Companies Win the Market’s Attention Abstract



This paper examines whether private companies use company awards to obtain the market’s attention. We use information from the most prominent annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. and combine those data with historical copies of companies’ webpages, job postings, and financial news. We find that companies are more likely to disclose their award and financial performance when they are placed just within a more salient ranking category (top 500) or receive special recognition (top industry award). We also find that these companies receive more (equity) financing and post more job openings after receiving and disclosing the award. Ultimately, these companies tend to have more successful exits and a lower failure rate. Taken together, our paper shows that company awards are an important facilitator helping private companies attract attention in capital, labor, and product markets through the salient disclosure of their financial performance.