The Venture Alley

A blog about business and legal issues important to entrepreneurs, startups, venture capitalists and angel investors.

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Article prepared by and republished courtesy of our colleagues Luke Gannon, Scott Thiel and Hayden Lau; originally published here: https://www.dlapiper.com/insights/publications/2017/09/the-sfc-comments-on-icos/ The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (the SFC) has debunked the myths that no securities laws apply to ICOs. In its first direct statement on the subject, the SFC fired a warning shot at issuers and intermediaries of ICOs and token offerings, reminding them that they may be conducting regulated activities…
One of the more interesting phenomena in early-stage investing is the recent emergence of initial coin offerings (“ICOs”), token generation events (“TGEs”), or similar distributed ledger or blockchain-enabled means for raising capital. Much has been written, including by many skilled lawyers in the technology sector, about whether the tokens issued in these structures involve “securities” – and, frankly, some of it is unhelpful. Hungry for something that seems like crowdfunding, but that actually works to raise meaningful…
Much has been written recently on blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO). Unfortunately, for non-computer scientists (like me), trying to understand these concepts and their potential implications can be a bit overwhelming. To help all of those non-technologists trying to get their heads around blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, cryptocurrencies and ICOs, I pulled together the following list of resources that I have found useful. As an attorney who represents startup and emerging growth…
DLA Piper is pleased to announce the launch of Prize Promotions Around the World, an updated edition of our popular handbook. Prize Promotions Around the World is an online tool designed to assist companies across the globe in managing the early development stages of a prize promotion, such as a sweepstakes or a skill-based contest, and to bring to their attention potentially problematic issues. Key features include: Additional jurisdictions, now with over 35 countries Expansion…
Our private company clients often ask what kind of revenue or EBITDA multiple ranges they can expect upon a sale or when determining their enterprise value in connection with a financing. This is always a tricky question as value is driven by ever-changing supply and demand and then-current market conditions. Moreover, with yet-to-be-profitable startups, substantial value often lies with their IP, team and/or future prospects.  Accordingly, for a startup, the answer to this question is subjective…
From our colleagues Carla Small, Jim Halpert and Anne Kierig Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced final cybersecurity rules for New York’s financial services sector. The Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies (the Final Rule), promulgated by the New York Department of Financial Services, is the most specific cybersecurity regulation in the country to apply to companies that are not critical infrastructure operators. They apply to all New York-licensed financial services companies including banking, insurance and…
As a Valentine’s Day gift to the community, Silicon Valley Bank issued its eighth annual Startup Outlook Report, resulting from a survey of nearly 950 technology and healthcare executives in startups, most based in the US, with additional input from businesses with primary operations in the UK and China. SVB’s survey asked entrepreneurs for their views on access to capital, hiring, general business conditions, public policy issues and other factors relevant to their businesses.  Nearly all of the…
For some time now, corporate venture capital (CVC) has been a significant part of the funding ecosystem. According to Pitchbook, in 2016 alone over $20 billion was invested in 745 US venture deals in which CVC participated.  CVC is not a new phenomenon. In a post in April 2016, Pitchbook, noted that since the beginning of 2010, $125.57 billion has been invested in rounds involving CVCs. Over the past few years, much attention has been…
Below are three charts compliments of J.Thelander Consulting and PitchBook that illustrate the dilutive impact over time of venture funding on founder ownership levels. These charts are the result of J.Thelander Consulting’s venture-backed private company ownership survey – and divided by industry (biotechnology, medical device and technology). Read the full article here. While these charts are directionally helpful, each company will of course have its own set of facts. In my experience, the main drivers of…
From our colleagues Paolo Morante, Steven E. Levitsky, Laura Kam and Adam Steene: The Federal Trade Commission has announced its annual revision to the jurisdictional thresholds under the Act. The new thresholds will go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected in the next few days. Under the new thresholds, no transaction will be reportable unless, as a result of it, the acquiring person will hold voting securities,…