Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 40 Number 2 2023 pp. 655-682

SocioLink: Leveraging Relational Information in Knowledge Graphs for Startup Recommendations

Xu, Ruiyun, Chen, Hailiang, and Zhao, J Leon


While venture capital firms are increasingly relying on recommendation models in investment decisions, existing startup recommendation models fail to consider the uniqueness of venture capital context, including two-sided matching between investing and investee firms and a lack of information disclosure requirements on startups. Following the design science research paradigm and guided by the proximity principle from social psychology, we develop a novel framework called SocioLink by depicting and analyzing various relations in a knowledge graph via machine learning. Our experimental results show that SocioLink significantly outperforms state-of-the-art startup recommendation methods in both accuracy and quality. This improvement is driven by not only the inclusion of social relations but also the superiority of modelling relations via knowledge graph. We also develop a web-based prototype to demonstrate explainable artificial intelligence. This work contributes to the FinTech literature by adding an innovative design artifact—SocioLink—for decision support in the investment context.

Key words and phrases: Design science, FinTech, knowledge graph, startup recommendations, machine learning, venture investments