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SEC Report on Tokens as Securities: Seven Takeaways

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. …

So Your Fund Wants to Invest in Canada, Eh?

Despite a recent cooling in the overall investment climate, the number of active U.S. venture investors in Canada has more than doubled over the past five years. This migration north coincides with a climb in overall venture investment activity in Canada, increasingly challenging pricing on U.S.-based deals and a lower Canadian dollar, which depreciated extensively over the same period.…

SEC Sanctions Private Equity Fund Adviser For Acting As An Unregistered Broker

From our colleagues Edward J. Johnsen, Wesley G. Nissen, David A. Goldstein, Jay Coogan and Robert B. Weiss

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that a private equity fund advisory firm and its owner have agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle charges that include engaging in brokerage activity and charging transaction-based fees without registering as a broker-dealer.…

Angel Investment Trends: Q3 2015 Halo Report

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);
  • The Halo Reports provides a list of the most active angel groups by deal count in 2015;
  • California continues to be the leading region in terms of the most angel capital invested and highest angel deal count (with totals thru Q3 2015 at 19.7% and 21.1%, respectively, of the U.S.

Three Trends in 2014 Venture Capital Funding

Contributed by our colleague Mark Radcliffe

2014 was a great year for startups seeking funding.  Two of the leading reporting companies, PitchBook and CB Insights, report similar trends (both of these reports focus on funding by traditional financial venture capitalists and corporate venture capitalists, but the numbers differ because PitchBook also includes some angel investments).…

Tax reform after the mid-terms: Why we can expect Congress to act

Article prepared by and republished courtesy of our colleagues Evan Migdail, Bruce Thompson and Linda Pfatteicher; originally published here: http://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2014/11/tax-reform-after-the-mid-terms/.

While some aspects of the agenda for the incoming Republican-controlled 114th Congress are still in formulation, there is no question that tax reform will be a top priority.…

Recent SEC Interpretations Facilitate Intrastate Crowdfunding

The SEC has recently issued interpretations regarding Rule 147.  This rule provides a safe harbor under Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, which exempts from federal registration securities offered and sold only to persons resident within a single state or territory, in which the issuer is also resident. …

What is Micro-Venture Capital?

Over the past few years, a new funding source for seed stage startups has developed and quickly become an integral part of the startup ecosystem.  This newer brand of investor is typically labeled a seed venture or micro-venture capital fund (a Micro-VC).…

Angel Investment Trends: Q1 2014 Halo Report

The Q1 2014 Halo Report has been released by the Angel Resource Institute, Silicon Valley Bank and CB Insights. The Halo Report analyzes angel investment activity and trends in the United States. Here are a couple interesting Q1 2014 highlights:

  • The median angel round size jump to $980K (up from $750K in each of Q1 and Q4 2013);
  • The median round size was $1.65M when angel groups co-invest with other types of investors;
  • The median seed stage pre-money valuation increased slightly to $2.7M;
  • Angel groups continue to primarily invest within their home state, with 75% of angel group investments made intrastate;
  • California was the most active region for angel deals completed (at 17.7% of the total deals), however, the Great Lakes region accounted for the most total dollars invested (at 24.6% of total dollars invested); and
  • The top three industry sectors attracting angel investment were Internet, healthcare and mobile, both in number of deals and total dollars invested – with the Internet sector accounting for the most deals and total dollars by a significant margin.

Pacific Northwest Investment and Exit Report

CB Insights recently released its Pacific Northwest Investment and Exit Report, which analyzed private company investment and exit activity over the past five years. The report collected data from all activity sources, including venture capital, private equity, strategic corporate investments, corporate venture investors, angels, incubators and accelerators.…

Cayman Islands Revise Exempted Limited Partnership Law and Pass New Legislation Allowing Enforcement of Contracts by Third Party Beneficiaries

Earlier this month the Cayman Islands passed new legislation revising its existing Exempted Limited Partnership Law.  The new legislation, the Exempted Limited Partnership Law 2014, replaces the existing legislation in its entirety and has a primary objective of providing Cayman Islands partnerships with more flexibility in a number of areas and generally bringing Cayman Islands law into closer conformity with existing laws in more familiar jursidictions such as Delaware. …

Bitcoin is property, not currency, IRS says – Notice leaves many open questions about convertible virtual currencies

Article prepared by and republished courtesy of our colleagues Joseph Langhirt, David Plewa and Michael Greenberg; originally published here: http://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2014/04/bitcoin-is-property-not-currency/.

The Internal Revenue Service has joined several other jurisdictions in publishing guidance regarding the income tax consequences of certain convertible virtual currency transactions.…

Angel investment trends; 2013 year in review

Today the Angel Resource Institute, Silicon Valley Bank and CB Insights released their angel group 2013 year in review, the Halo Report. The Halo Report analyzes angel investment activity and trends in the United States. Here are a couple interesting 2013 highlights:

  • The median angel round size remained steady over the last three years at $600K;
  • The median angel round size for 2013 was $1.7M when angel groups co-invest with other types of investors, which was an increase over the median 2012 round size of $1.5M;
  • The median pre-money valuation for early stage angel group deals in 2013 was $2.5M, which was consistent with 2012 median valuations although 2013 saw more high-valuation deals close than 2012;
  • Together, Internet, healthcare and mobile companies comprised 74% of angel group deals and 79% of angel group dollars, a significant increase from the prior year;
  • The median angel round size for healthcare deals jumped to $1.6M in 2013 (from $1.1M in 2012), which was the largest increase by sector; and
  • As with prior years, California was the most active region for angel deals, both in number of deals (18.6%) and total dollars invested (19.6%).

Interactive 2014 Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook

Compliments of our DLA Piper colleagues in the data protection and privacy practice, and co-editors Kate Lucente and Paul McCormack, here is the DLA Piper 2014 Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook.  This new online edition of the handbook offers a high-level snapshot of selected features of international laws as they currently stand in 72 jurisdictions across the world. …

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