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I am a corporate and securities attorney who represents emerging growth companies and the investors who invest in such companies, and am the Chair of the Northwest Emerging Growth and Venture Capital Practice for DLA Piper. My practice focuses on securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate law. My clients are individual entrepreneurs, early stage, venture-backed and public companies and venture capital investors. I have done numerous initial and secondary public offerings and hundreds of seed and venture financings. I enjoy helping startup companies navigate their way into successful enterprises.

The 2015 Annual Halo Report has been released by The Angel Resource Institute at Willamette University (ARI) and PitchBook.  The Halo Report analyzes angel group investment activity and trends in the United States.  Here are a couple interesting FY 2015 highlights:

  • The median seed-stage valuation for 2015 deals hit an all-time high of $4.6M (up from 53% from 2014);
  • The median and mean round sizes in deals with only angel investors climbed to $850K and $1.164M, respectively (both up materially from 2014);
  • The median and mean round sizes in


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CB Insights created the below infographic on October 26, 2015 illustrating the rise of unicorn companies since 2011. This graphic is particularly interesting when viewed together with CB Insights’ blog post this morning (January 7, 2016) that recaps FY 2015 venture financing data.  CB Insights’ recent data shows that while FY 2015 was a record-setting year for venture financings, there was a dramatic drop in the number of mega financings in Q4 2015 (which mega deals had previously been driving the record level).  In any event, the graphics
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Just a reminder to those who have Delaware corporations, your annual report and franchise tax payment are both due by March 1. At this point, you have likely already received from Delaware your notification of annual report and franchise tax due, which is sent to a corporation’s registered agent in December or January of each year. Delaware requires these reports to be filed electronically.

As you will notice, there are two methods that you can use to calculate the amount of Delaware franchise tax due for your corporation (
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Good news from a tax planning perspective as we head into the new year.  The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, which was enacted into law on December 18, 2015, retroactively extends certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that had previously expired.  Of particular interest to our readers, the PATH Act permanently extends the 100% capital gains exclusion for “qualified small business stock” (also referred to as QSBS) initially acquired after September 27, 2010.

As a quick refresher, the QSBS tax exemption was originally enacted
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The Q3 2015 Halo Report has been released by The Angel Resource Institute at Willamette University (ARI) and PitchBook.  The Halo Report analyzes angel group investment activity and trends in the United States.  Here are a couple interesting Q3 2015 highlights:

  • The median seed-stage valuation has hit an all-time high of $4M (up from $3M in 2014);
  • The median round size in deals with only angel investors was $725K and the median round size in deals when angels co-invest with non-angels was $1.71M (both up materially from Q3 2014);


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PitchBook just released its analysis of Q3 2015 venture capital activity by region, focusing on three key U.S. regions: the Bay Area; New York; and the Pacific Northwest. Below are the PitchBook infographics and a quick summary of the results:

Bay Area:

  • The median pre-money valuation for Q3 2015 was $61.8m.
  • The reported deals with the highest valuations were: Uber Series F pre-money at $51B; Stem Centrx Series G pre-money at $4.8B; Palantir Technologies pre-money at $4.9B; and Stripe pre-money at $4.9B.

3Q_2015_Bay_Recap-2New York metro:

  • The median pre-money valuation


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Earlier today PitchBook released its M&A Report for Q3 2015 and the stats indicate continued strength in merger and acquisition activity.

While the overall deal count for Q2 2015 was down (4,250 deals with an aggregate value of $416 billion) as compared to the prior quarter (4,803 deals with an aggregate of $560 billion) and prior year (5,183 deal with an aggregate of $373 billion), the average transaction size spiked to $1.103 billion in Q2 2015 as compared to $795.3 million in Q1 2015 and $231.9 million in Q2 2014.
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PitchBook just released its analysis of Q2 2015 venture capital activity by region, focusing on the six of the most active U.S. regions: the Bay Area; Boston; Los Angeles; the Midwest; New York; and the Pacific Northwest.  Below is also a quick summary of the Q2 2015 highlights by region:

Bay Area:

  • The median pre-money valuation for Q2 2015 was $63.5m (up from $29m for Q4 2014).
  • The most active sector (by both deal count and capital invested), by a wide margin, was


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PitchBook recently released its 1H 2015 VC Valuations and Trends Report that breaks down over 20,000 valuations of private company financings and exits over the past 10 years. The report shows continued increase in median U.S. venture-backed company valuation across stage of investment. Not surprising, PitchBook’s conclusion is that Series Seed is the new Series A, Series A is the new Series B, and Series B is the new Series C – noting that while this is not a new finding by any means, PitchBook has more data to support
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Compliments of our DLA Piper colleagues in the data protection and privacy practice, and co-editors Kate Lucente and John Townsend, here is the DLA Piper 2015 Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook. This updated 2015 online edition of the handbook offers a high-level snapshot of selected features of international laws as they currently stand in 77 jurisdictions across the world. For example, here is a heat map that provides a visual representation of the privacy challenges faced in certain jurisdictions.

Here is a .pdf of the full 421-page
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